AT&T awards $25,000 to Charles Houston’s Alexandria advisory board

Left to right: Vice Mayor Amy Jackson, AT&T Representative, Mayor Justin Wilson and Bonnie Septon (Photo Stella Davis)

ALEXANDRIA, VA – On June 8, AT&T presented a check for $25,000 to the Charles Houston Advisory Board to support the 2022-23 school year and summer coding classes for children at the Charles Houston Recreation Center (CHRC ). The check presentation event featured Mayor Justin Wilson, Vice Mayor Amy Jackson and representatives from AT&T and the Advisory Board.

The $25,000 donation was part of the AT&T Foundation’s Connected Learning Initiative, a $2 billion national commitment to bridge the digital divide and help children succeed wherever they learn through investments in digital literacy tools, educational resources, low-cost Internet access, computers and Suite. Since 2008, AT&T has committed more than $600 million to millions of students nationwide and around the world, especially in underserved communities.

“AT&T has always been a company that has invested in the communities where we work, live and play,” said the AT&T representative at the event. “[This event] means a lot to us as AT&T employees and members of this community, and we want to be a leader in investing in the youth of the community.

Students at the check presentation who will benefit from summer coding classes and other educational opportunities (Photo Stella Davis)

The pandemic has presented challenges for students in Virginia and across the country who lack the sufficient connectivity, devices, or both needed for online learning. The Charles Houston Advisory Council, a group that supports CHRC through volunteerism and fundraising, has launched a program to address the digital divide and lack of homework. Today, AT&T supports their efforts to help vulnerable students in Alexandria.

The AT&T Foundation grant to the Charles Houston Advisory Council will provide critical funds for Scratch, Python and Minecraft coding lessons for financially disadvantaged children. Summer coding classes, taught by lifelong Alexandria resident Bonnie Septon, will equip kids with important and lucrative skills for future careers.

“I’ve worked in IT my entire career,” Mayor Justin Wilson said. “I know the power of this industry and the kinds of jobs it can create for [these kids] in the future. So we thank AT&T for their financial support, and we look forward to seeing some good coding underway.

Addressing the students there for the check presentation, Wilson said: “You are our future and our present. These types of resources from AT&T and others are designed to ensure you can lead the way now and in the future.

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