AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) has announced a nearly $300,000 grant to a northwest Indiana nonprofit. The funding for Communities in Schools of Lake County will help boost the organization's mentoring and student retention efforts. October 10, 2014

News Release

EAST CHICAGO, Ind. (October 9, 2014) – It takes caring professionals and a relentless focus on results to put students at risk of dropping out of high school on the path to graduation.

Because of its demonstrated success supporting and motivating traditionally underserved students to stay in school and prepare for their next step in life, Communities in Schools (CIS) of Lake County has been named as one of 30 recipients nationwide that will share in nearly $12.5 million from AT&T.

These contributions are a part of AT&T Aspire, the company's signature education initiative focused on school success and career readiness. With an unwavering commitment to data-driven education outcomes, AT&T Aspire has impacted more than 1 million students since its launch in 2008.

“AT&T Aspire invests in students today – at home, in the classroom, at work – to prepare them for success tomorrow,” said AT&T Indiana President Bill Soards. “Investing in a well-educated workforce may be the single most important thing we can do to support a strong global economy – and that is why AT&T has committed nearly $300,000 to Communities in Schools of Lake County through Aspire.”

Through a competitive request for proposal process, 30 schools, school districts and non-profits, including Communities in Schools of Lake County, were selected from more than 1,100 nationwide. Programs were evaluated based on their effectiveness in helping students graduate ready for career or college. Selected programs use evidence based approaches to serve students and are able to demonstrate quantitative results.

A component of AT&T's collaboration with Communities in Schools of East Chicago supports student mentoring. Research has shown that a caring adult in a young person's life impacts their success. According to a recent report, students with mentors are more likely to aspire to enroll in and graduate from college than those without mentors (76 percent vs. 56 percent).

“We are very grateful to receive this generous contribution from AT&T, which will allow our staff and volunteers to change the picture for many students and go deeper into our schools to track and report more thoroughly the impact that the CIS model has on a student's life,” said Pat Simes, CIS of Lake County's executive director, during the announcement of the Aspire contribution at East Chicago Central High School today.

“Communities in Schools has pushed me in the right direction and has made me believe that I can accomplish all of my dreams,” said Cesar Barbosa, a student at East Chicago Central High School.

AT&T Aspire funding recipients include non-profits, schools and school districts around the country that will expand programs to serve additional students, to add components to strengthen the program, or to replicate in new locations. Many of the awardees deliver integrated student supports, focus on college or career preparation, and/or provide mentoring or peer-to-peer supports to help students succeed in academics and beyond.

“Non-profits and educators in our community are on the front lines each and every day identifying those students who are at risk of dropping out and using proven strategies to help them get back on track and reach their full potential,” said State Sen. Lonnie Randolph. “It's tremendous that AT&T is teaming with this great organization to remove barriers to academic success, and help all students make their biggest dreams a reality.”

“The AT&T Aspire program truly brings the best of both worlds, using both the head and the heart to make a difference for these students – regardless of age, gender, income or zip code,” said State Rep. Earl Harris. “This relationship between Aspire and CIS will help students stay in school and prepare for their next step in life.”

Communities in Schools of Lake County is a local affiliate of the nation’s largest dropout prevention organization. Founded in 2002, CIS facilitates and develops mentoring/tutoring, after-school programming, individualized interventions, counseling sessions and family assistance. Communities in Schools positions a dedicated site coordinator inside partner schools. In this pivotal role, the site coordinator works with school staff to identify students at risk of not graduating. He or she assesses school and student needs and establishes relationships with local businesses, social service agencies, health care providers and volunteer organizations to harness needed resources, making student success initiatives more effective and efficient. Learn more about CIS at

About Philanthropy at AT&T

AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. In 2013, more than $130 million was contributed or directed through corporate-, employee-, social investment- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs. AT&T Aspire is AT&T's signature education initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism, and mentoring.

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and internationally. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation's most reliable 4G LTE network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best global wireless coverage, based on offering roaming in more countries than any other U.S. based carrier, and offers the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV service with the AT&T U-verse brand. The company's suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world.

Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at or follow our news on Twitter at @ATT, on Facebook at and YouTube at

Source: AT&T Inc.

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