Project helps teens prepare for careers
MASCEC announced a recent contribution from AT&T as part of AT&T Aspire. Pictured here: First Row, left to right – Lani Allen-Green, Glen Donelson, Charlene Brown, Althea Yancy, Freeholder Director Melissa DeCastro, Cameron Smith, Walt Donelson; Second Row, left to right – Benjamin Wood, Freeholder Laury, Salem City Mayor John Washington, Salem County Prosecutor John Lenahan.
Salem County youth between 16 and 18 years old who have dropped out of school or are at risk of dropping out will be able to take advantage of a job-readiness program that offers career exploration activities as a result of a contribution from AT&T.
Charlene Brown, regional vice president for AT&T in New Jersey, joined local officials, students and staff to announce the $15,657 contribution to Mid-Atlantic States Career and Education Center (MASCEC), which offers job readiness programs and career exploration programs to teens. The contribution is part of AT&T Aspire.
The MASCEC started the program in Salem County because of the community’s high poverty rate, high rate of unemployment, and high school dropout rate, according to H. Glen Donelson, CEO and President, MASCEC. The program, which will provide interview skills development, job placement assistance, and mentoring, will be offered to 15 teens 2 days per week at the MASCEC training facility in Pennsville.
“This program will support young people who are struggling through academic and career preparation and will have a significant impact upon their lives and all who live in the Salem Community,” added Ben Wood, senior vice president, Planning Development at MASCEC.
State officials representing the district said the contribution will help MASCEC serve vulnerable youth.
“We are extremely grateful that AT&T has seen the value in this program and chose to contribute more than $15,000 to help make it even more successful,” said Senate President Steve Sweeney, Deputy Assembly Speaker John Burzichelli, and Assemblyman Adam Taliaferro. “Offering career development opportunities to our most vulnerable youth is critical to ensuring they do not slip through the cracks. AT&T’s investment underscores the dual benefits of this program which is not only a great resource to the young adults it serves, but also the companies it matches those individuals with.”
“The success of our students is vital to our progress towards becoming an elite and prestigious school district. It’s great to partner with an organization that can provide extended services into adulthood to ensure our student's success,” said Cameron Smith, a family resource counselor at Salem High School and former student in the program.
“AT&T supports programs that prepare young people for college and careers, Brown said. “Our support of this program aligns with that goal. We want to do what we can to help organizations like MASCEC and the leaders in this community prepare young people for success.”
“It’s always appreciated when a community organization such as Mid-Atlantic steps in to help students and/or former students overcome their individual circumstances so they can complete and/or further their education. These efforts remind me of the quote from Nelson Mandela ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,’” said Patrick Michel, Ed. D., Superintendent, Salem City School District.
Learn more about the program at https://wegrowpeople.org/.
AT&T Inc. 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. The company’s signature philanthropic initiative, AT&T Aspire, drives innovation in education to promote student success in school and beyond. With a financial commitment of $450 million since 2008, AT&T is leveraging technology, relationships and social innovation to help all students make their biggest dreams a reality.
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