Earlier this month we announced that we reached an exciting milestone: AT&T employees have provided 1 million hours of mentoring to more than 160,000 students who need it the most through our Aspire Mentoring Academy.
When I hear big numbers like 1 million hours and 160,000 mentees I find it difficult to grasp the real scope and scale of the impact. Then I hear personal stories. Stories from young people whose lives changed as a result of their relationship with a mentor. Stories from mentees who had their eyes opened to the possibilities of college or career. Stories that, one by one, bring those 1 million hours and 160,000 students to life.
So what better way to explain what this milestone means to me than by sharing some of these stories straight from our mentees? I hope you’ll be as inspired as I am, and that you consider finding an opportunity to be that memorable mentor in a young person’s life.
“During [my freshmen] year I really did not care too much about going to school…I was not focused and I played around a lot. My confidence was very low because I did not have a person to encourage me and tell me to focus on getting my education, a job and overall just learn to be responsible. Since my mentor, Nicky, has been a part of my life I have improved so much. She has given me so much advice that has changed my aspirations and [I have] become enthusiastic about focusing more on getting my education…It means so much to me because I could have been that one student who took that wrong route but now, those one million hours have changed my mind set and perspective on life and myself.”
- Tiandria, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Texas
“Before the Aspire Mentoring Academy I was an average student. I wasn’t really [focusing] in school as much as I should have been and I knew I could do better. My participation in this program gave me my educational confidence. With my refined critical thinking, speaking and project base learning skills sharpened, I give thanks to the AT&T Aspire Mentoring Academy mentors for showing me how to use these skills in and outside of school. I believe I can achieve my goals and dreams because AT&T has given back to the community and inspired inner city students like myself. The future looks ever so brighter thanks to the AT&T Aspire Mentoring Academy.”
- Kelvin, Jobs for America’s Graduates, New Jersey
“…What really stuck with me was that these are people that care about what happens to me and to the other kids in our neighborhood. We are important to them because we are the workforce of the future. They showed us that it is important for us to be successful so that our country is successful.”
- Orlando, Junior Achievement, Colorado
“By talking to the mentors at AT&T, it helped me realize that your life could lead you in several ways. I remember one mentor I spoke with named Vicky and she shared her experience with my group and I. Vicky told us that her career with AT&T started off by just working in an AT&T store and she built her way up from there. She told us how important college was to her and that AT&T helped her with college and that in turn helped her with her career at AT&T. Vicky sharing her experience with us is what really motivated me to look into colleges that could help me to pursue my career. Before then I did not even think about college or how college could affect my future.”
- Victoria, Communities In Schools, Texas
“When I first started the mentor2.0 program, my attitude was very poor. I did not really like to talk and I was always quiet, although I did understand the concepts, I never thought I needed to express my understanding verbally. My mentor Cindy would really try to get me to be involved, but I never wanted to. My attitude has positively changed and I feel like a whole new person now. I now talk more than ever and I’m able to articulate my words and talk correctly in front of groups of people about different things. My mentor has made a tremendous impact on my life and I’m forever grateful. 1 million hours to me means that the AT&T employees constantly work and never stop trying to help better the community.”
- Breyelle, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Texas
KEYWORDS: Education, Volunteerism & Community Engagement, AT&T, AT&T Aspire, Aspire Mentoring Academy, students, employees, announced, milestone, 1 million hours, Mentoring, stories, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Jobs for America's Graduates, junior achievement, Communities In Schools, mentor2.0