By any measure, AT&T’s Believe Detroit initiative has been an extraordinary success. Since its launch in 2019, AT&T and its employees have committed meaningful time, dollars and effort to bridging the digital divide and bringing about positive change in communities throughout Detroit.
And for me personally, the initiative has provided me with the chance to work with and get to know some truly extraordinary people whom I may not have otherwise had the privilege of knowing.
One such individual is Monique Holliday, Executive Director of Hope Community Outreach and Development—a non-profit serving the residents of Detroit’s Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood, assisting with specific needs related to health, education, employment and safety.
We recently sat down with Monique to learn more about how her organization serves the community and the role AT&T has played in supporting those efforts.
First, Monique, can you tell us more about Hope Community Outreach and Development and the work you do?
Absolutely, Hope Community Outreach and Development is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization serving community members from the Southeast side of Detroit from our headquarters in the Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood. Our work is centered on helping to meet community needs in health, education, employment and safety. So, a lot of work is focused on the youth of our community and providing them with resources and assistance with things like education, workforce development, and training.
And what role has AT&T played in supporting those efforts?
The help and commitment from AT&T has been such a blessing. Access to technology is essential for any organization hoping to be successful and make a positive difference in developing our youth. We live in a digital age now, which means access to technology is absolutely critical for education, work, and just day-to-day living, and that’s exactly what AT&T has provided here.
AT&T’s investment in the Connected Learning Center inside of the Jefferson East Inc. Neighborhood Resource Center has been a game-changer for this community. Providing neighborhood residents with a safe and friendly space to access the technology and connectivity they need to learn and grow is making all the difference in this neighborhood. A great number of residents of this neighborhood would simply lack access otherwise. AT&T is helping to bridge that accessibility gap for those members of our community, and that kind of investment is ultimately going to make a big difference in helping this neighborhood to improve and flourish.
What’s the reaction of the community to the Connected Learning Center?
Oh, they love it. People are excited and rightfully so. You know, they know what AT&T has provided here isn’t just a desire or a want—this is a NEED in this community. Because the reality is that a great number of our neighbors here in Jefferson-Chalmers just don’t have this kind of access to technology and connectivity—that’s something that’s true for a lot of the youth in the community, and the same goes for many our seniors as well. So providing the community with access to a space outfitted with the proper equipment and technology is huge.
We love hearing our investment has made such a positive difference. Any parting thoughts you’d like to share?
For AT&T to come in and help meet that need and give back to the community in such a meaningful way is priceless in my opinion. AT&T’s investment has made such a big difference in our efforts to improve the lives of those in this community, and I’m just so thankful and excited about this collaboration and what it will continue to bring in the future.