By Michelle Brown, founder & CEO of CommonLit, 2016 AT&T Aspire Accelerator member
In the spring of 2016, CommonLit.org was a collection of about 100 individual PDF reading lessons that English teachers could download and use with their students. Despite its humble start, I had a big vision.
I came to the AT&T Aspire team with a simple pitch: Create the best reading and writing program in America and make it available for free so that even the most vulnerable students could access it online.
As part of its signature philanthropic initiative, AT&T Aspire, AT&T connects employees with students to provide mentoring and help students discover their potential. Since 2012, AT&T employees invested more than 1.6 million hours to impact students across the country. We asked one of these employees, Neal Backsman, to share his experience as a mentor and how it has changed him.
By Nasir Qadree, Associate Director of Social Investments, AT&T
Building a company is incredibly hard... and incredibly rewarding. I know from experience. Before working at AT&T, I supported a portfolio of start-ups at a venture capital firm. There’s nothing quite like making an idea a reality and seeing its impact on others.
Ed-tech isn’t just about digitizing books and training manuals for a tablet. It’s about using technology to deliver new forms of learning and teaching. It’s about personalizing and accelerating learning for everyone, everywhere, at any time.
That’s why we’re looking for game-changing solutions for real-world education challenges. If you’re an innovative ed-tech venture in the U.S., we want you to apply for the 2018 AT&T Aspire Accelerator.
During 2017, AT&T’s long-standing culture of service and volunteerism has been highly visible across the nation with employees coming together to support communities affected by disasters and in need in Houston, Texas, Puerto Rico, California and many other regions. As an AT&T employee, and National President for HACEMOS, our company’s Latino focused employee resource group, I recently had the opportunity to serve alongside my colleagues from more than a dozen countries in a transformative project showing that our company’s spirt of service is also truly global.
By Scott Lininger, Bitsbox co-founder, AT&T Aspire Accelerator Class member
Feb. 17, 2017 will forever be burned into my mind. The Bitsbox team had that date circled in red on the calendar for months prior. It’s the day some of us sweat through our shirts and others found comfort in raiding the snack cabinet. Feb. 17 was the day our pitch to Shark Tank investors aired on TV.
Bitsbox provides monthly subscriptions to coding projects that teach grade-schoolers to program apps. As a start-up founder, Shark Tank felt like the holy grail of pitching investors.
By Sandro Olivieri, AT&T Aspire Accelerator Entrepreneur-in-Residence
I come from a family of educators, but I am not one myself.
When I started as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the AT&T Aspire Accelerator focused on ed-tech, I had a small case of imposter syndrome. Sure, I’d worked in technology for my entire career, but what about the “ed” part of ed-tech? What did I know about education? How could I be taken seriously?
WASHINGTON, November 30, 2017 /3BL Media/ - Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) and AT&T are working together to help raise the high school graduation rate and support successful career pathways by expanding academic support and providing mentoring opportunities for underserved students. JAG has received a $3.5 million contribution from AT&T to allow the national non-profit to add new schools and/or expand existing programs through its 34 JAG State Affiliates with proven success records of keeping kids in school.
By Anne Wintroub, Director of Social Innovation, AT&T
At AT&T, we believe great ideas can come from anywhere and impact kids and communities everywhere. That’s why we designed the AT&T Aspire Accelerator to support startups across the country, both for-profit and nonprofit organizations.
We’ve had 3 classes come through the AT&T Aspire Accelerator. And we’ve learned that the differences in our startups’ structures is a great opportunity to collaborate and learn. We asked 2 of our current cohort members, one that leads a nonprofit and one a for-profit, to share the lessons they’ve learned from each other.
Hopefully by now, you’ve heard all about our latest women in STEM-themed series, A Balanced Equation! But what you might not know is that behind the scenes, an awesome bunch of Roadtrip Nation roadies—Mimi, Jen, Kelsey, and Ellen—have been visiting schools, Boys and Girls Clubs, and STEM-focused organizations across the country, screening clips from the series for over 2,000 students and young adults.