Thu04172014

News

AT&T donates $10,000 to help Southwest students

 

A recent ceremony marked AT&T’s contribution to Southwest Tennessee Community College. Roll the calendar back to January 2010 and witness the Tennessee legislature approve an aggressive set of steps to increase the completion rates of students within the institutions of higher education in the state.

 
 Through its AT&T Completion Scholarship program, AT&T has stepped up to help students At Southwest Tennessee Community College and others throughout the Tennessee Board of Regents system. Picture are: Chuck Thomas III, AT&T regional director of External & Legislative Affairs; Barbara Roseborough, Southwest associate vice president Academic Affairs; Dr. Donald C. Fisher, executive director of Mid South Quality Productivity Center (Greater Memphis Chamber); Oyama Hampton III, Southwest instructor, Business and Legal Studies; Rep. Karen Camper; Roby Williams, CEO & president BBA; Dr. Nathan Essex, president of Southwest; Sen. Reginald Tate; Andre Dean, vice-president, Public Policy & Community Affairs (Greater Memphis Chamber); and Sen. Brian Kelsey. (Courtesy photo)

Next envision the Tennessee Board of Regents putting their approval stamp on created programs of study that encourage and allow students with work and family obligations to enroll on a full-time basis, devoting 20 to 30 hours a week, including online education. And yes, students in these new programs would benefit from scholarships.

Now see AT&T stepping up to meet the need. The AT&T Completion Scholarship program ($10,000 to each of the 13 Tennessee Board of Regents’ community colleges) will fund scholarships to help community college students statewide begin a path toward completing their college degrees. A recent ceremony marked AT&T’s contribution to Southwest Tennessee Community College.

“Having more Tennessee students earn their degree is exactly why we passed the Complete College Tennessee Act last year,” said State Sen. Brian Kelsey.  “I am pleased to see students at Southwest Tennessee Community College have an opportunity to earn scholarships to complete their degree.”

State Rep. Lois DeBerry said it was “good news” for Memphis and all of Tennessee to see companies working together with higher education institutions to help students complete college. “With more students completing college, it will lead to more job creation and growth for Memphis,” said said.

Roby Williams, president and CEO of the Black Business Association of Memphis, and John Moore, president and CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber, noted the work of DeBerry and Kelsy in passing the Complete College Tennessee Act, which led to the AT&T scholarships to Southwest and others.

The programs will target non-traditional and underserved students.

“This generous donation to Southwest Tennessee Community College will make a large impact for our students,” said Dr. Nathan Essex, President of Southwest Tennessee Community College.  “We’re very grateful to AT&T for this gift, which will help our students succeed, both in the classroom and in their careers.”

Chuck Thomas III, Regional Director for AT&T, said the company was pleased to help students at South. “It is our goal to ensure that students are fully prepared to enter the workforce and that they can find good jobs right here in Tennessee when they graduate.”

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