For kids in Miami, Alonzo Mourning is someone that they can look up to – literally and figuratively. Not only is Mourning a legend for what he did on the basketball court in Miami, but also for what he’s doing for students and families in the community.
In 2003, Mourning helped found the Overtown Youth Center (OYC) in Miami. With the purpose of providing a safe space and resources for at-risk youth and families in the Overtown neighborhood in Miami, the OYC has provided countless personal and educational opportunities for those in the community.
Just like the OYC, we share that same passion for equipping students and their families with the tools they need to succeed. It’s why I was so pleased to gather last month with Miami residents, Alonzo Mourning and the Mayor of Miami-Dade County, Daniella Levine Cava, to celebrate the opening of a new AT&T Connected Learning Center® in the OYC.
Being at the event, it was meaningful to see students and families check out the new center, learn about all the resources, and hang out with Alonzo. We even had volunteers hand out Connected Learning Essentials Kits with digital literacy supplies to every student at the event. For me, all of it underscored how important hubs like these are for every community. Especially as school ramps up, our students need access to a place before and after the bell rings where they can explore the resources they need to complete their homework, explore new subjects, and learn from mentors and tutors.
In Miami, it’s estimated that more than 74,400 K-12 students1 don’t have access to the internet or computers at home to benefit from the online world.
Now residents of Miami have that, as they can come to this center to access exactly what they need to grow. This includes high-speed AT&T fiber internet, WI-FI, computers, educational resources, and tutoring and mentoring from AT&T employees.
The center is the second we’ve opened in Florida and the 26th across the country providing internet access and free resources to students and families impacted by the digital divide.
And as part of our collaboration to open the center, AT&T also contributed $50,000 towards OYC Miami to further support its ability to give back to the community.
Working with the OYC to open this center is also a lesson in showing how valuable it is to collaborate directly with organizations on the ground to deliver digital resources into the hands of those who need them most. Earlier in the summer, our Florida-based team hosted a volunteer campaign at our AT&T Miami headquarters to fill hundreds of backpacks with essential school supplies and digital learning tools. These backpacks were later distributed at our Florida Connected Learning Centers to students who need them for the upcoming school year.
It’s efforts like these that showcase the impact that can be made by working with community playmakers who know the issues their neighbors face and what the right solutions are to address them. Through these AT&T Connected Learning Centers and on the ground campaigns to deliver resources, we’re able to make more of an impact on the communities we are working for.
“We believe that every person deserves an equal opportunity to succeed in the digital world,” said Tina Brown, OYC Miami CEO. “Thanks to AT&T the Connected Learning Center will provide resources to empower our community, by offering the necessary tools, resources, and mentorship to thrive in the digital age.”
This event marked the celebration of a collaboration that will help students start the new school year off on the right foot. It’s an effort that represents just one aspect of our AT&T Connected Learning initiative to team up with committed players to bring essential resources to more communities. And we look forward to engaging with more organizations as we continue working to bridge the digital divide.