What are the qualities that define a community? Unity, commitment, and adaptability – all values, when woven together, describe the values our teams work hard to uphold, in and outside the company.
As 2020 comes to an end, we remain steadfast in our commitment to be there for friends, families, coworkers and neighbors. Whether it’s addressing social and economic barriers or empowering those particularly affected by the pandemic, we continue to collaborate with civic and non-profit organizations to provide our communities with the resources they need.
This year we have donated nearly $600,000 to local organizations as part of Believe SC, our umbrella program to help make a difference in lives statewide by tackling the problems of food insecurity and economic equality.i Recipients include Greenville Unity Park, Serve & Connect, Communities In Schools of Charleston, the Hispanic Alliance, and four food banks that serve the entire state.
Believe SC is an extension of AT&T BelievesSM, a larger company-wide initiative, which aims to create positive change in local communities by helping assure equality of opportunity for everyone. Whether focused on skills gaps, career opportunities, community safety, or supporting area families and youth, the Believe campaigns across the country are focused on removing local barriers to success as we support our corporate value, Stand for Equality.
From opening opportunity’s doors to closing technology gaps, I invite you to read below and learn more about our journey to building a resilient community.
Leveling the playing field: changing barriers to opportunities
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the world to rapidly change the ways we live and work. So, in a time not short on challenges, how do we change barriers to opportunities? We level the playing field.
- Closing the homework connectivity gap is a top national priority, and I’m proud that AT&T continues to do its part to keep students connected to their teachers. Recently, we introduced a new education initiative that will build on our efforts and move us closer to closing both the homework gap and the home connectivity gap. And we aren’t stopping there. We also announced a new $10 million contribution and collaboration with Connected Nation that will provide free internet connectivity and devices to underserved communities across the country. Read more about these efforts here.
- As the pandemic continues to force schools to rely heavily on remote learning, disconnected students are not just missing homework – they are missing critical learning. The federal Lifeline program – a program intended to help make telecommunications services more affordable for low-income Americans – can and should help address these urgent connectivity needs. But first, we need to bring the program into the 21st century. Learn how that can happen.
- Since 2016, AT&T has been working with YearUp to close the so-called ‘opportunity divide.’ The program works to ensure young adults gain skills, experiences and support needed to reach their potential. That’s why we’ve committed to hosting 200 YearUp interns by 2022. Learn more here.
Supporting equality and upward mobility for underserved communities
At AT&T, we believe each of us has a role in identifying and addressing racial inequality wherever it exists. Many actions can yield positive changes. However, it is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Here’s what we’re doing to make a difference:
- Calling all innovators! Ready to improve our communities? AT&T is collaborating with Nex Cubed to support technology development and entrepreneurship at HBCUs across the US through the Nex Cubed HBCU Founder’s Program. The program inspires students to pursue entrepreneurship related to key social determinants including real estate, education, financial services, and digital health. Student sign up and more program information can be found here.
- As part of our $10 million commitment to create economic opportunity and foster upward mobility for Black and underserved communities, AT&T will be offering nearly 2,300 scholarships to online learning academies Udacity and Coursera. The scholarships – valued around $1.5 million – will be distributed through our Believe initiative. Read more here.
i The company contributed $500,000, and the Foundation contributed $100,000 of the $600,000.