Alexandria, Va., April 25, 2013 /3BL Media/ - Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) and AT&T are working together to raise the nation’s high school graduation rate by expanding mentoring, tutoring and other academic support for students at risk of dropping out.
AT&T has contributed $1 million to JAG to allow the national non-profit to add new schools and/or expand existing programs with proven records of success in keeping kids in school.
JAG programs help underserved students overcome barriers to graduation through mentoring, tutoring, academic support and links to social services among other interventions. With a high school diploma or General Educational Diploma, students are guided into post-secondary education, entry-level careers or the military.
“We commend AT&T for its leadership in investing in programs that work for America’s most high-risk young people. It sets a standard we hope other companies will emulate,” said JAG’s Chairman, Governor Jack Markell of Delaware. “This one-million dollar commitment will allow us to add 30-40 new JAG programs, helping 1,600 new young people build a strategy for their success.”
“We are encouraged by the recent news that for the first time we are on a path to reach a 90 percent national graduation rate by 2020, but we also know there is more work to be done,” said Charlene Lake, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer at AT&Tand JAG board member. “Bringing to scale programs like JAG that are making a measurable impact on the students that need it most is one of the key ways we can stay on track to meet our graduation goal.”
In 2011, JAG’s network of affiliates reported a 94 percent high school graduation rate, compared to the national graduation rate of 78.2 percent. Currently, the JAG model is offered in nearly 1,000 public high schools, community colleges, and alternative learning centers in 32 states.
Through a Request for Proposal process supported by AT&T, JAG will provide incentive grants contingent upon matching fundsto:
All affiliates on-board through this program must demonstrate the ability to comply with JAG’s national standards of achievement for graduation rates, attainment of meaningful employment and/or enrollment in postsecondary education.
“It is rare in our experience for a company to be as thorough and tough minded in its approach of supporting strategies that are proven to work – and then get behind them with both money and critical organizational commitment as well,” said JAG’s CEO and President, Ken Smith. “AT&T has indeed set a gold standard.”
In more than three decades of operation, JAG has helped nearly one million young people stay in school through graduation, pursue postsecondary education and secure quality entry-level jobs leading to career advancement opportunities.
Since 2008, AT&T and the AT&T Foundation have provided approximately $4 million in funding to JAG and its local affiliates. This support is part of AT&T Aspire, AT&T’s $350 million commitment to education. With more than 1 million students impacted since its launch in 2008, Aspire is one of the nation’s largest corporate commitments focused on helping more students graduate from high school ready for college and careers.
About Jobs for America’s Graduates
Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), is a non-profit youth development program committed to helping America’s most at-risk kids excel in high schools, prepare for success in college, and embark on a rewarding career. Since its inception in 1980, JAG has served nearly 1 million at-risk kids, and is currently serving over 44,000 students in 32 states. JAG students have a graduation rate of over 90 percent, and approximately 80 percent of those graduates go on to postsecondary education, military service and/or full-time employment.
About Philanthropy at AT&T
AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its philanthropic initiatives, AT&T has a long history of supporting projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; and address community needs. In 2012, more than $131 million was contributed through corporate-, employee- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs.
Janelle Duray, Job’s for America’s Graduates
(703) 706-9645 / Janelle.Duray@JAG.org
 Alliance for Excellent Education, America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises, and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University. Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic, Annual Update February 2013.
KEYWORDS: Education, People, Social Action & Community Engagement, Technology. Innovation & Solutions, graduate, drop out prevention, drop out crisis, dropout prevention programs, mentor, Mentoring, high school dropout rates, AT&T, csr