AT&T Presents $2 Million Contribution to Genesys Works to Grow Internship Opportunities for Underserved Youth
HOUSTON, Oct. 19, 2016 — Genesys Works hosted the annual Breaking Through Ceremony for disadvantaged high school seniors who were recently awarded professional internships at top Houston companies. During the event, AT&T also celebrated a $2 million contribution to support the national expansion of Genesys Works into 15 new cities by 2022.
The ceremony, presented by co-sponsors Deloitte, EY and PwC, showcased the success stories of more than 180 students who recently completed an 8-week workforce training program. The event commemorated their newfound internships and rite of passage into a professional setting. The distinguished keynote speech was given by Michelle Riley-Brown, Executive Vice President of Texas Children’s Hospital.
Internships give participating students real-world experience in fields like information technology, finance, and business operations, and are with nearly 200 established organizations, including AT&T. This fall, AT&T welcomed three interns in Houston, and is also hosting students in Genesys Works’ other regions, including Chicago, the Bay Area and Washington, D.C.
“Whether through internship opportunities or contributions, AT&T is proud to support an organization that equips its students with the skills to thrive in the workforce of tomorrow,” said Kerrick Henny, Regional Vice President of External Affairs at AT&T. “It’s inspiring to see the transformation students go through after completing the program. The confidence and skills they gain is a true testament to the life-changing work Genesys Works is doing in our communities.”
The internship program offers professional pathways previously thought to be unattainable. Within Houston alone, Genesys Works has helped more than 1,600 students – spanning 25 public schools – complete trainings and earn year-long, meaningful internships.
“For nearly 15 years, Genesys Works has been changing the lives of underserved young people in the Houston area, providing and empowering them with the knowledge and skills required to achieve career success and a lifetime of economic self-sufficiency,” said Marian Davenport, Executive Director of Genesys Works Houston. “The first step on that journey is placement in a paid corporate internship. Thanks to AT&T, we’ll be able to make a bigger impact here locally and offer more students these opportunities in more communities around the country.”
Genesys Works boasts a remarkable success rate among its key regions of Houston, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington’s National Capital Region. To date, 100% of participating students have graduated from high school and have been accepted into college. The organization recently surveyed program graduates with full time jobs who graduated five or more years ago and found their median annual income is $50,000. That’s about $10,000 more than the median income for the U.S. population of 25-34-year-olds.*
With the $2 million AT&T contribution, Genesys Works will select new cities for program expansion through a request for proposal (RFP) process starting in 2017. Cities meeting the basic criteria to establish and sustain a Genesys Works operation can apply for planning grants to cover the cost of conducting feasibility studies in their communities. Learn more about Genesys Works and its programming at genesysworks.org.
*National Center for Education Statistics, 2016
About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T
AT&T 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. AT&T Aspire is AT&T’s signature philanthropic initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism, and mentoring. Through Aspire, we’ve passed the $250 million mark on our plan to invest $350 million in education from 2008-2017.
About Genesys Works
Genesys Works is a non-profit social enterprise changing the trajectory of life for disadvantaged high school students through meaningful work experiences. Its program consists of eight weeks of technical and professional skills training, a paid year-long corporate internship, college and career coaching, and alumni support to and through college. Its goal is to move more students out of poverty and into professional careers, creating a more productive and diverse workforce in the process. Since its founding in 2002, Genesys Works has grown to serve nearly 3,000 students annually in Houston, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington’s National Capital Region. To learn more, visit genesysworks.org.
For more information, contact:
Name: Allison Kopp