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AT&T and Jobs for America’s Graduates TO WORK TOGETHER to Help Kids Succeed
WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 2008/ -- DiversityBusiness.com /- AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today announced a $500,000 contribution to Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), a nonprofit youth development program. The announcement comes as key policymakers and education leaders convene on Capitol Hill to discuss the achievement gap in education and employment outcomes for at-risk minority youth.

The thought leader symposium will take place at the Columbus Club at Union Station in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 23. The event will be hosted by JAG and sponsored in part by the AT&T contribution, and it will include key attendees such as U.S. Rep. George Miller, who is chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee; National Urban League President Marc Morial; and Maine Gov. John Baldacci, among many others.

“We are here today to look at proven solutions for closing the achievement gap that exists throughout our education system,” said Baldacci, who is also chairman of JAG’s board of directors. “The outstanding work being done by groups such as JAG and the AT&T Foundation to address this issue is invaluable, as there is much to be done.”

Ken Smith, president of JAG, said: “Each day, 7,000 young people drop out of school, and a disproportionate number of those are minority youth. This is one of the great issues facing America today, which is why we are committed to bringing attention to this overlooked crisis and continuing our work of over 28 years with at-risk students to address it. Generous funding, such as that from AT&T and the AT&T Foundation, assists us greatly in our efforts.”

This $500,000 contribution from AT&T, plus another seven AT&T Foundation grants to JAG state affiliates that total nearly $1.5 million, are all part of the greater $100 million education initiative of AT&T and the AT&T Foundation — AT&T Aspire. The four-year initiative includes grants to schools and nonprofits, a companywide job shadowing program, funding for 100 community dropout prevention summits organized by America’s Promise Alliance and the commissioning of major national research.

“Organizations such as JAG are playing a key role in preparing our young people for a competitive global workforce and for a fulfilling life,” said Jim Cicconi, senior executive vice president of External and Legislative Affairs for AT&T, a member of the JAG board of directors and a presenter at the thought leader symposium. “We are proud to support their efforts to ensure our children succeed in school and in life.”

AT&T is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives, which is why in April 2008, AT&T and the AT&T Foundation launched Aspire, a $100 million high school success and workforce readiness initiative. AT&T Aspire is the company's largest philanthropic commitment ever — and one of the largest-ever corporate commitments to address high school success and workforce readiness.

For more information about the AT&T Aspire initiative, please visit www.att.com/education-news.
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