Launches Believe HoustonSM, an Extension of AT&T BelievesSM
AT&T* is committed to helping build a better tomorrow for opportunity youth in Houston's Complete Communities. We’re doing that through a new initiative we call “Believe HoustonSM” designed to help expand young people’s vision for their futures through academic support and tutoring, character development mentorship and exposure to career options through job shadowing and internships.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner participated in today’s Believe Houston launch, which took place on BakerRipley’s East Aldine Campus.
Believe Houston is an extension of AT&T Believes℠, a larger company-wide initiative, which aims to create positive change in local communities. To help us move closer to that goal, we are giving $1 million in contributions to Houston-area non-profit organizations for their educational and mentorship outreach programs.
“At AT&T, we direct our resources and boots on the ground toward organizations whose missions are changemakers in their communities,” said Corey Anthony, Senior Vice President, Human Resources & Chief Diversity Officer at AT&T. “Our employees are the heart of the Believe Houston initiative. I feel a lot of pride in witnessing their energy and passion for this city and their commitment to making a difference for young people here.”
Over the past year, the company launched AT&T Believes in Chicago, New York, Dallas, Atlanta, New Orleans and now, Houston. In Chicago, we’re focusing on hiring and training efforts in neighborhoods heavily impacted by gun violence. In New York, we’re using our retail stores to help educate families on how protect their children online and give them effective tools to address the problems head-on. In Dallas, our goal is to mitigate homelessness for service-accepting families and veterans in Dallas.
For Believe Houston, we are focusing our resources on organizations and volunteer opportunities that can make a lasting impact on the youth in Houston’s Complete Communities. Many of the youth who reside in these areas experience generational poverty and the family effects of unemployment. The average median income is below $35,000, which is 80 percent less than that of the rest of the city. Unemployment rates are as high as 15 percent, while Houston’s overall unemployment rate is 4.5 percent. Upwards of 44 percent of residents do not have a high school diploma, compared to 23 percent for the rest of the city.
As part of our work to support Houston-area youth, we are proud to announce our continued work the Travis Manion Foundation (TMF), which empowers veterans and the families of fallen heroes to develop character in future generations, and OneGoal, a non-profit organization whose mission is to close the degree divide in America. OneGoal provides direct support to educators to help their students (known as Fellows) reach their highest postsecondary aspirations. OneGoal Houston has increased the rate of students in the lowest economic quartile who successfully complete a 4-year or 2-year postsecondary degree or certification program from 12 percent to 60 percent.
At today’s Believe Houston launch, 86 OneGoal Fellows engaged with 12 mentors to learn about career paths, roles and professional opportunities at AT&T. Mentors included executives from AT&T, Travis Manion Foundation, AT&T University, and AT&T-affiliated companies like Full Screen, HelloLab and Rooster Teeth.
“I believe there are limitless possibilities for our Fellows,” said Patty Williams-Downs, OneGoal – Houston Executive Director. “Support from AT&T and exposure to possibilities, like those our Fellows experienced today, have the power to change lives. We are humbled and grateful fort AT&T’s continuing support of our work.”
The balance of the $1 million will be distributed to the following agencies:
$325,000 to OneGoal
$300,000 to Greater Houston Community Foundation to support the Bethune Empowerment Center
$165,000 to Genesys Works
$119,000 to Travis Manion Foundation
$60,000 to Black Girls Code
$30,000 to The Oasis Institute
$15,000 to BakerRipley