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AT&T Contributes To Help Kids Stay In School

By on Apr 4, 2014 in News |

CIS Cape Fear Receives Nearly $52,000 as AT&T Contributes to Helping Kids Stay in School

WILMINGTON — Efforts to keep local students connected to a positive future got a boost recently, as AT&T, which has been connecting people for well over century, delivered nearly $52,000 in contributions to Communities In Schools of Cape Fear (CIS).

John Lyon, AT&T Regional Director, was joined by state Rep. Rick Catlin (R-Wilmington) and New Hanover County Commissioner Chairman Woody White in presenting two checks totaling $51,875 at CIS’   annual fundraising breakfast.

One contribution, for $9,500, supports collaboration between CIS and the AT&T Aspire Mentoring Academy for a mentoring program for high school students. The program brings students to AT&T work locations, where they meet with AT&T managers to learn about job skills needed in today’s workplace and to be mentored in preparation for job interviews.  Trialed in May 2013 in Wilmington and three other locations across the country, the program is now rolling out nationwide.  This $9,500 contribution supports the 2013/14 school year program in the Cape Fear area.

Catlin, an engineer, has taken part in several mentoring sessions, sharing with the students the job skills needed for success as a small business owner and engineer.

“Communities In Schools is providing a valuable service to our area youth,” he said.  “Providing these students with a face-to-face opportunity to meet with area business leaders to discuss job skills and their career aspirations, and to prepare them in basic job application and interviewing skills, will go a long way in giving these students additional motivation and direction for their future success.”

The second contribution, for $42,375, provided full funding for 1 year of a CIS Site Coordinator position at Williston Middle School.  Site Coordinators are responsible for providing sustained intervention services to students who have been identified as being at-risk to provide those students with services such as tutoring, mentoring, literacy skills, career guidance and counseling to assist in their continued growth in the school system.

“It is so important for our County schools to be able to have as many resources as possible to assist our students in wanting to graduate and to succeed in their life’s goals,” White said.  “Having an organization like CIS, and their Site Coordinators, on premise in our schools with this program provides many at-risk students with additional mentoring and guidance which can lead to their future success in life.”

CIS Executive Director Louise Hicks said “CISCF works in partnership with public schools to identify and connect students, many in jeopardy of dropping out, with the community resources they need to stay engaged in school.  We offer programs in After School, Non-Traditional Learning, Teen Parenting and Dropout Prevention.  Having community leaders like Representative Catlin and County Commissioner White cognizant of, and participating in, our programming is extremely valuable in our being able to fulfill this mission.”

Lyon said AT&T has a long history of supporting education, with an emphasis on dropout prevention programs such as CIS.

“We understand that there is no better way to make a lasting difference in the community than by helping support the education of its young people,” he said. “That’s why we are excited about the opportunity to work with CIS to help high school students better understand and embrace opportunities which lie before them. We hope the students will leave this experience inspired to complete high school and equipped with the knowledge they will need to succeed in college, the workplace and beyond.”