Empowering the Future: AT&T, The National NETwork Black Integrated Communications Professionals (BICP) and the Lewis Latimer Scholarship

Tanya Lombard, Executive National Mentor to The NETwork
February 28, 2024
Community Impact

Empowering the Future: AT&T, The National NETwork Black Integrated Communications Professionals (BICP) and the Lewis Latimer Scholarship

As we honor Black History Month, I’m excited to spotlight a cause engrained in our DNA at AT&T: The National NETwork Black Integrated Communications Professionals (BICP)’s Lewis Latimer Scholarship. Named after Lewis Latimer, the great Black inventor and key player in the invention of the telephone and our company history, this scholarship serves as a beacon of hope and opportunity for many students who are interested in pursuing an education in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM). At AT&T, we’re proud to help connect people to greater possibility through this effort.

Our employees understand the transformative power of scholarships like this one and have worked to broaden the impact to more students nationwide. Since the scholarship’s inception in 1982, AT&T’s Employee Group, The National NETwork BICP, has contributed more than $22 million in scholarships through a partnership with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF).

Learn more about the Lewis Latimer Scholarship here.

Yancey Williams II is one of the many students whose path has been impacted by the scholarship. Yancey recently graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a Biomedical Engineering degree and is now pursuing an MD/PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Yale University’s School of Medicine.

Yancey credits the Lewis Latimer Scholarship as a stepping stone for his decision to pursue his advanced degree, saying, “Its impact has been instrumental in guiding my path toward making a meaningful impact in healthcare and academia.”

Speaking more broadly about the impact of the scholarship on his academic journey, Yancey noted:

“The Lewis Latimer Scholarship has profoundly impacted my life by opening doors to invaluable opportunities and experiences that have shaped my academic and personal growth. Specifically, it provided the financial stability necessary to fully engage in my studies and pursue extracurricular activities such as involvement with BMEN (Blazer Male Excellence Network) at the University of Alabama.”

Yancey’s journey is just one example of how the Lewis Latimer Scholarship can open doors for aspiring students. It’s more than just a financial grant, it’s a commitment – a commitment toward our future, to education, and, most importantly, to our students. Together, we can provide hope and pave the way for a brighter future.

As Yancey works towards his dream of becoming a physician-scientist, we remain dedicated to connecting more people to the resources they need to pursue their professional dreams – whether offering internships for students, working with state governments to train broadband workers or helping to bridge the digital divide.

Our efforts to expand internet connectivity have a sizable impact on the workforce. They allow students like Yancey to study and research from anywhere and help workers access online training to ensure workforce readiness. These impacts are transforming the broader workforce and opening the door to greater opportunities for both workers and businesses.


Our mission to help bridge the digital divide is also transforming Yancey’s future industry: healthcare. 5G specifically can help transform the patient-physician relationship, by enabling improved telehealth appointments and faster remote access to online health records.

As we reflect on our progress, we’re reminded of the words of Lewis Latimer himself, “We create our future, by well improving present opportunities.” Let’s continue to improve these opportunities and connect people to greater possibility, one person at a time.


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