|By PR Newswire||
|September 19, 2012 01:00 PM EDT||
BATON ROUGE, La., Sept. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- For 75 high school students in the Baton Rouge area, this school year will mean more of a focus on providing students with the tools and support they need to succeed in both school and future careers. This is thanks to the work being done through a program at Louisiana State University's College of Human Sciences & Education.
The core mission of Louisiana State Youth Opportunities Unlimited, LSYOU, is to provide a long-term, case-managed relationship and data driven intervention into the lives of high need students to enable them to successfully graduate from high school and enter post-secondary education.
To help with this goal, AT&T today announced a $300,000 donation to LSYOU.
"Showing a strong commitment to education is one of the most important things we can do for our communities, our state, and our country," said State Representative Steve Carter. "Here in the Capital Region, you cannot overstate the importance of the work being done at LSU. The university is committed to excellence and this funding will allow LSU to expand its efforts to prepare local high school students for both higher education and future careers."
Because of its solid record of proven results in helping high school students, LSYOU has been named as one of 47 recipients nationwide that will share in nearly $10 million from AT&T. With more than a million students impacted since its launch in 2008, the AT&T Aspire program is one of the largest corporate commitments focused on helping more students graduate from high school ready for college and careers. AT&T announced an additional quarter-billion-dollar expansion to the program earlier this year, bringing the total commitment to $350 million.
"This funding will make a real difference to students in Louisiana," said State Representative Erich Ponti. "As we work in the Legislature to address challenges in our state, none is more important than ensuring we have a strong workforce for the future. To accomplish this, we need to make sure our high school students are prepared to succeed not only locally, but also in the global economy."
"It is an honor to support LSU and the work they are doing to help stem the high school dropout crisis in our country," said Sonia Perez, President, AT&T Louisiana. "By educating today's youth and helping them prepare for the future, we can ensure the future workforce of our company and our country will be stocked with qualified employees who have the 21st-century skills that American businesses need to remain competitive in the digital, global economy."
Applicants were evaluated based on their accomplishments in serving students at risk of dropping out of high-school and their ability to use data to demonstrate the effectiveness of their work. After a rigorous and competitive process, LSYOU was identified as making a real difference in the community by supporting and motivating traditionally underserved students to stay in school and prepare for the next step in life.
"This support from AT&T will further enhance our ability to make a substantive difference in the lives of young people in our community. LSYOU is a shining example of the positive impact our students and faculty have in this city and beyond. We are proud that AT&T, through a rigorous vetting process, has recognized how critical and effective this initiative is; and we are honored to receive this generous donation," said Stuart Bell, LSU executive vice chancellor & provost.
"Over the years, the impact of LSYOU on the future of its participants cannot be measured—it has to be heard through their words. Indeed, LSYOU transforms lives and opens doors to opportunities that these young people never imagined let alone dreamed about being possible. AT&T's vision and ongoing support demonstrates a true commitment to the participants' futures and to the difference their successes will make on the future of Louisiana," said Laura F. Lindsay, dean of the College of Human Sciences & Education.
This $300,000 will be used to support the enhancement of a case-managed dropout prevention program for 75, primarily African American, at-risk 9th grade students utilizing long-term, relationship-based strategies designed to cultivate academic achievement and workforce readiness in failing schools in the Baton Rouge Achievement Zone and surrounding area. The program begins with a summer program for incoming freshmen and subsequently supports those students through four years of high school.
Additionally, the program serves as an outreach to the community, a service learning site to the LSU faculty and students, and a place where students from the College of Human Sciences and Education can learn effective teaching, counseling, and data collection techniques.
"LSYOU was there for me. They gave me hope. So when I came, I got the drive and now I know there is nothing I can't do since I started LSYOU. And all my friends from the LSYOU program, we still keep in touch. It's like a big family. You never lose touch with them. There is this show we used to watch as kids, it's called Kim Possible. She was a teenager who saved the world. When I came to LSYOU I felt like Kim Possible, there was nothing I couldn't do. I could save the world if I wanted to," said Rakiki Thomas, summer class of 2006, high school graduate in 2010, and a current junior in college.
To learn more about all of the organizations that were selected, please visit Att.com/local-impact.
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About Philanthropy at AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its philanthropic initiatives, AT&T has a long history of supporting projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; and address community needs. In 2011, more than $115 million was contributed through corporate-, employee- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs.
SOURCE AT&T Inc.