AT&T Foundation Gives $33,000 To Raleigh's Digital Connector Program

Posted: Mar 29 2015, 10:49am CDT | by , Updated: Mar 29 2015, 11:05am CDT, in News | Latest Business News


AT&T Foundation gives $33,000 to Raleigh's Digital Connector Program
Credit: Getty Images
  • Helps seniors and teens.
  • Strengthening community bonds.

In a philanthropic move, the ultra-speed internet provider has donated $33,000 to two Raleigh community centers as the city and state try to remain competitive in the global market.

Earlier this week, the AT&T Foundation donated $33,000 to Raleigh, North Carolina's Digital Connectors program for two community centers.

Venessa Harrison, A&T State President for North Carolina, praised the program's mission of digitally connecting seniors and young adults in a learning environment for every state citizen.

"We are excited to support the Digital Connectors program because, not only is it connecting generations, but it is expanding horizons and opening new opportunities for seniors and for the young adults who are their instructors in this new digital world."

The North Carolina Next Generation Network (NCNGN) was established by the state in 2010 to keep state citizens immersed and educated about the changing digital world by pushing the idea of next generation of broadband networks for everyone.

"Advanced technology has been the catalyst for change in our world because of what it enables people to do," said Harrison.

In Raleigh's Digital Connectors program, people aged 14-21 learn the latest skills needed to succeed in the 21st century, especially as employment requirements usually request an above-average level of computer skills.

Connectors commit 60 hours of community service and module lessons include leadership foundation, financial literacy, civic journalism, coding, and gaming. Many of the skills are not communicated enough for teens as they get ready to head out into the world beyond high school.

Financial literacy and leadership are vital when attempting secondary/higher education and when applying for jobs. According to the National Financial Educators Council, student loan debt and pay wages need to be discussed when looking towards the future.

More than 54% of the previous generation (Y) fear crippling debt the most. The idea is to help break the debt cycle by learning how finances work on a day-to-day scale. Additionally, coding is becoming more and more integral for Generation Z, too.

"Over the past five years, 103 Digital Connectors have helped nearly 3,000 people become members of today's digital society," says Gail M. Roper. Roper works as the Chief Information Officer of the City of Raleigh and founded the Raleigh chapter of the program.

And in other words, the program works and having access to high-speed internet will be an advantage for the Tarboro Road Community Center and Saint Monica Teen Center. The founder notes "through this multigenerational approach, we have seen a sense of understanding and appreciation grow between the Connectors and the seniors whom they have taught."

Civil leadership and community involvement remains high for the program because the Research Triangle and Piedmont regions want to competitive in the global market, and that requires educating as many North Carolinians as possible.

"The program is helping build a culture that embraces technology and civic engagement. We are excited about the impact the program has already had in the community and look forward to the difference it will make in the future," Roper points out.

And the Digital Connector program specifically follows the AT&T Foundation's mission, which involves improving lives through advancing education and strengthen local communities. And the $33,000 will indeed strengthen the already successful grassroots collective and local community centers.


Source: National Financial Educators Council, PR Newswire

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