AT&T Believe Detroit: Improving Outcomes for Detroiters

AT&T volunteer Victoria Griffin mentored with students from Detroit Carver STEM Academy as they participated in STEM activities at STARBASE located on Selfridge Air National Guard Base.

AT&T Michigan is committed to making an impact in the communities it serves and that is the mission that led to the creation of the Believe Detroit initiative. Launched in 2019, Believe Detroit is a community and employee engagement initiative aimed at promoting educational opportunities, academic achievement and a path to self-sufficiency for the Detroit community.

“We are committed to connecting Detroiters with opportunities that will change the trajectory of their lives for the better and our team will proudly be engaged in the effort every step of the way,” said AT&T Michigan President David Lewis.

Believe Detroit is an extension of AT&T Believes, a larger company-wide initiative aiming to create positive change in local communities. AT&T Michigan teamed up with 16 Detroit organizations, helping them expand current efforts and create new opportunities that would provide Detroiters with resources to improve their future outcomes.

The signature event of the initiative was the 2nd annual Believe Detroit Technology Challenge that was held on October 18, 2019 at Wayne State University. The challenge brought 150 students from five Detroit high schools together to learn how to build websites. The websites centered around AT&T’s “It Can Wait” initiative and the Detroit Pistons “Basketball for All” initiative. This effort, in partnership with Rebrand Cities and WordPress, provided students with real-life skills they can use in their future careers. More than 40 AT&T Michigan employees were on-hand providing the students with assistance.

AT&T Michigan employees built benches with book storage in collaboration with Sit On It Detroit. The benches are placed at Detroit bus stops so residents can have a place to sit and the opportunity to read a book.

As the holiday season approached, AT&T employees accelerated their efforts to help Detroiters. Believe Detroit hosted a pop-up food pantry with Forgotten Harvest so families would have food to make a Thanksgiving meal. Throughout the entire holiday season, AT&T employees stepped up to help Salvation Army raise money to provide food and shelter to those in need. AT&T Michigan served as the first-ever corporate bell-ringing sponsor for Salvation Army, and employees spent their spare time during the holiday season and into January as bell-ringers in communities all across the state.

In the first year of the initiative, Believe Detroit impacted more than 5,000 Detroiters, providing more than 750 volunteer opportunities for AT&T employees, who spent more than 3,000 hours volunteering in the city. AT&T is proud of the impact Believe Detroit and AT&T employees have made during the first year of the initiative and are eager to grow that impact in 2020.

Lewis continued: “We are extremely proud of the impact we have been able to make through the Believe Detroit initiative in its first year and are eager to continue this work to make an everlasting impact on the Detroit community.”

AT&T President David Lewis and AT&T PR Manager Teresa Mask volunteered as bell-ringers during the 2019 holiday season. AT&T Michigan served as the official corporate bell-ringing sponsor for the Salvation Army of Southeast Michigan’s Red Kettle Campaign.

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