Baltimore-based Living Classrooms Foundation today announced a $65,000 contribution from AT&T to support the POWER House Teen Program that provides academic support and enrichment opportunities, mentoring, and college-preparation activities for under-served high school students living in the Perkins Homes development in Baltimore.
The program and the contribution were highlighted today during a special event featuring Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and other Baltimore civic and business leaders.
According to James Piper Bond, CEO of Living Classrooms, the Teen Program operates at Baltimore City’s National Academy Foundation High School and at the POWER House community center in the Perkins Homes public housing development, one of the most economically disadvantaged areas in Baltimore City. The Teen Program provides an intervention for these youth to ensure that they maintain academic performance and motivation to prevent disengagement and dropout, as well as receive guidance about college and career requirements.
Bond said the program also provides science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)-specific programming for youth to explore environmental and biological sciences. Monthly field trips are taken to a variety of locations, including STEM environmental education trips with Living Classrooms’ education staff onboard Living Classrooms’ historic ships, as well as visits to the scientific “wet labs” of the nearby Masonville Cove Environmental Education Center, which is also managed by Living Classrooms Foundation.
“The Teen Program provides valuable STEM-skills and opportunities for youth to gain hands-on experience and exposure within STEM careers. We are grateful to AT&T for their support of this meaningful program, which is greatly needed youth to widen their horizons and give meaningful skills.” said James Piper Bond.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said programs like this one are vital to the future success of the students – and to competitiveness of the City of Baltimore.
“Providing quality educational opportunities for our young people is key to attracting families and keeping families in Baltimore,” said Rawlings-Blake. “The POWER House Teen program is a great example of the public and private sectors working together to create new opportunities and brighter futures for children in Baltimore. I appreciate AT&T’s support of this vital program.”
Denis Dunn, president of AT&T in Maryland, said the contribution will inspire Baltimore students to stay in school and prepare for college and careers.
“At AT&T, our support of organizations like Living Classrooms Foundation are important because a well-educated workforce may be the single most important thing businesses can do to help students succeed in a digital, global economy,” said Dunn. “This contribution will help students in Baltimore stay focused on their studies, complete high school, and achieve success.”
Dunn added that AT&T in 2013 contributed $10,000 to Living Classrooms to support the E-STEM Academy program that provides underserved Washington, DC, 9th grade students with an opportunity to participate in interactive learning experiences and STEM career exploration activities.
The contributions are part of AT&T’s Aspire program, one of the largest corporate commitments focused on helping more students graduate from high school ready for college and careers. In 2012, AT&T announced an additional quarter-billion-dollar expansion of the program, bringing the total commitment to $350 million since Aspire was launched in 2008. Learn more about the program by visiting www.att.com/aspire.
About Philanthropy from 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.
About Living Classrooms Foundation
Living Classrooms Foundation is a non-profit organization, which strengthens communities and inspires young people to achieve their potential through hands-on education and job training, using urban, natural, and maritime resources as “living classrooms.” Living Classrooms serves over 40,000 youth and young adults annually in the Baltimore-Washington, DC, region.