Everyone knows AT&T as the multi-billion dollar phone carrier network. They have sponsorships with professional sports teams and spend millions on advertisements that people are exposed to everyday.
But what many people may not know about is AT&T’s devotion to childhood education and success. The At&T Aspire program has approximately 10,000 students enrolled in its innovative program. It has helped children across the United States by giving them connections and opportunities to succeed.
The company sees the importance of giving students a quality STEM education in order to better the workforce of the future. In past years, the United States has not ranked high among other nations. This fact can be discouraging. Yet, instead of accepting this fact, many companies are giving students the tools they need to improve their STEM literacy.
There are currently many high paying STEM jobs that are unfilled due to the fact that candidates do not require the necessary skills. By 2020, the United States will have 123 million STEM jobs and, of these jobs, there will only be 50 million people qualified to fill them.
“Helping fill that gap is a vital mission for AT&T. That’s why the company and the AT&T Foundation have contributed over $103 million to support STEM initiatives through AT&T Aspire since 1987. Projects supported by AT&T contributions range from STEM scholarship programs and science/math focused summer camps for at-risk youth to hands-on technology labs and elite robotics competitions at the nation’s leading universities,” AT&T said.
The company is also offering college scholarships for students wishing to pursue STEM degrees. One example is the AT&T STEM Award. This scholarship is sponsored by Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education Foundation and is awarded to a Pennsylvania resident. The student can choose between 14 universities and will enroll full-time.
Another scholarship that is offered through AT&T is focused on creating ethnic diversity in STEM. The NACME scholarship is awarded to an African American, Indian American or Latino student who has excelled academically. This scholarship was created in order to give students in minority groups the opportunity to further their education at a university. With the rising cost of college, scholarships such as these two give students the chance to further their education despite economic status.
There is a constant gender gap in the STEM workforce, throughout all careers. It is because of this that girls need to be given opportunities to further their STEM education. Girl oriented STEM groups are essential to getting young girls interested in STEM and maintaining that interest into their adulthood. AT&T’s donations allow girls across the United States to continue to join these groups and receive the mentorship they need to navigate science, technology, engineering, and math college degrees and jobs.
AT&T donated $1 million to Girls Who Code (GWC). GWC is a non-profit organization that focuses on closing the gender gap in technology related professions. AT&T became the sponsor of the Sisterh>>d campaign that exposed young girls around the world to the opportunities in STEM jobs.
Over the last 30 years, AT&T has donated over $144 million to STEM initiative programs. They have also offered mentoring by their employees to kids across the United States. Since 2012, they have devoted 2.2 million hours to bettering the future of youth.
AT&T, along with many other leading companies, have devoted a significant amount of time and money to solving the “STEM crisis”. By doing this, they are getting more students involved in STEM. These opportunities also allow more diverse groups to engage in STEM, which will help to increase diversity in the STEM workforce in the future.
They have now expanded their support to women in sports. AT&T is the first non-apparel company to be a Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) sponsor and have their logo on the jerseys.
Through this partnership, both AT&T and the WNBA are pushing for gender equality in the sports world. With gender-inclusive marketing and content, the companies are giving females the power and opportunities to pursue their dreams just like their male counterparts.
“AT&T’s groundbreaking commitment to our game, which is anchored on our shared values of diversity and inclusion, make it the perfect partner for the WNBA at this exciting time,” said Kerry Tatlock, senior vice president of marketing partnerships at the NBA.
More sports teams are beginning to invest in STEM related organizations. With AT&T and the WNBA’s new deal it is possible that they will mix their efforts and combine their support for women’s sports and STEM education.
Companies like AT&T are going to require qualified STEM employees in the future to continue furthering their companies. AT&T recognizes this and because of that they have joined the STEM alliance. They believe that STEM fuels innovation and innovation drives the economy.
Charlene Lake, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer at AT&T said, “To meet this growing need, we must collaborate with educators, governments, industries and others to increase the number of people with STEM education, experience and expertise.”