The Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston (BGCB) celebrated a major initiative to ensure digital access among local families, all while giving teens a head start on preparing for their futures.
On Thursday, February 2, Robert Lewis, BGCB Nicholas President and CEO, joined John Emra, AT&T Atlantic Region President and Emily Wiper, New England VPGM, to surprise 140 teens from BGCB’s Ready to Work Program with free laptops, courtesy of AT&T. BGCB’s Ready to Work program supports skill building and job readiness for students pursuing career and college goals.
AT&T donated 250 laptops total to the BGCB, with the remainder being allocated across all 9 of the BGCB Clubs and YouthConnect program, providing this essential resource to families across Boston.
The surprise laptop presentation took place during a career fair hosted by AT&T at the Berkshire Partners Blue Hill Boys & Girls Club in Dorchester. Twenty AT&T employee volunteers from a variety of jobs and career paths held Q&A booths and worked with the teens on mock interviews, networking, and other job readiness skills. Ready to Work teens received hands on mentorship through mock interviews and workshops about career and college readiness from professionals across multiple industries, such as retail management, marketing, sales, law, government and public affairs, human resources, wireless network technology and more.
Boston Chief of Economic Opportunity and Inclusion Segun Idowu and Massachusetts State Representative Russell E. Holmes also addressed the teens at the event.
The donated devices – new HP Chromebooks – come from AT&T’s digital inclusion project collaboration with the organization Human-IT. Each device provided through Human-IT includes a one-year warranty, technical support, and access to their other digital inclusion programs, including low-cost internet sign-up assistance and digital literacy training. Devices are pre-installed with Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office 365, or Google Suite.
“At AT&T, we believe every student deserves an opportunity to make their dreams a reality. And we have been working to help bring the right resources and the right technology to the right places, so that students can achieve their goals,” said John Emra, President, AT&T Atlantic Region. “Our AT&T employees are eager to give back to the Boston communities where they live, work and play. These amazing kids are the future of our city, our economy, and our company. We’re grateful for the opportunity to spend time with them and for the life-changing work done by Robert Lewis and everyone at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston.”
In Boston, it’s estimated that almost 19,000 K-12 students1 don’t have access to the internet, computers or skills needed to benefit from the online world. These device donations efforts are part of the AT&T Connected Learning initiative, created as part of AT&T’s companywide, $2 billion commitment made in 2021 to help address the digital divide through internet accessibility, affordability and safe adoption.
Check out more about the event from WCVB Channel 5.