The Centers for Hope — the City of Atlanta’s youth-focused cultural and educational development centers — will receive grants, services and other resources from two of the nation’s premier wireless providers, AT&T and Sprint.
The wireless service providers have pledged to support the Centers’ digital literacy program, designed to ensure that Atlanta’s youth receive the instruction in digital workforce skills required by today’s workplace.
“Histories are written and futures are shaped by access and opportunity,” said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “If our workforce—particularly in science and technology—is to be reflective of society as a whole we as a City must create pathways between high-tech, well-paying jobs and the underserved communities that have been disconnected from them. Thank you to our partners for joining the City in creating a more equitable Atlanta.”
Dave Wilkinson, the president and CEO of the Atlanta Police Foundation, added, “We are excited to accept this donation on behalf of the Centers of Hope. We will continue to expand our youth provider partnerships in order to provide opportunities that divert youth from crime and place them on pathways to a better future.”
More than 4,500 youth participate in the Centers of Hope throughout the city during the school year and summer programs.
“By partnering with AT&T and Sprint to provide cutting edge technology for Centers of Hope, the City of Atlanta’s digital inclusion initiative will ensure residents have access to needed resources and services,” said Chief Information Officer Gary Brantley. “By taking a hands-on approach, we can create an environment where digital equity is no longer a goal imagined, but a reality.”
Through the program, students will receive STEM education in coding, graphic design, animation, music production and robotics. The program aligns with the Digital Media Studio funded by AT&T at the Atlanta Police Foundation’s Westside At-Promise Youth Center.
“At AT&T, commitment to community is part of our DNA. And, it’s exciting to live and work in a community that shares a passion for equipping all of our youth with resources and opportunities to secure a better future,” said Venessa Harrison, president of AT&T Georgia. “We are proud to collaborate with the City of Atlanta to drive positive change in our community and provide a safe environment for our Atlanta youth to learn STEM skills that will help them realize their academic dreams. When our youth succeed, we all succeed. They are our tomorrow.”
Sprint will donate 200 mobile broadband hotspots with service through June 2022.
“For years, Sprint has been committed to helping communities across the country close the digital divide and homework gap,” said Jim Spillane, who leads government solutions for Sprint. “Here in Atlanta, we are so proud to partner with organizations like the Centers of Hope afterschool programs that are making such a huge difference in the lives of the city’s youth.
“We hope this donation, along with the recent expansion of Sprint and the 1Million Project Foundation’s efforts in Atlanta to connect every eligible Metro high schooler, will help all students achieve their full potential,” Spillane continued.