AT&T and Boys and Girls Club team up in new student program
AT&T Michigan and its Believe Detroit initiative, a multi-year effort to help promote educational opportunities, academic achievement, and a path to self-sufficiency for Detroiters, have been working to improve outcomes for young people in Michigan communities.
To continue this mission, AT&T has joined as an early adopter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michi- gan’s (BGCSM) Industry Club and donated $50,000 to ensure adequate operations and resources for the youth. The Industry Club is a first of its kind program, launched through a partnership with Bedrock Detroit and Detroit is the New Black last June to provide metro Detroit youth hands-on and paid experience in industries they typically would not have access to. The Industry Club kicked off with a focus on fashion retail and merchandising for select high-school-aged youth, with a vision to expand into other industries in 2021.
“AT&T is committed to supporting programming that promotes economic growth and social progress in the Detroit area, and the Industry Club is doing just that,” AT&T Michigan president David Lewis. “Now more than ever, it is imperative that we invest in the communities in which we live and work. Creating a network of support and opportunity for youth in Detroit is what our Believe Detroit initiative is all about.”
The Industry Club—which is housed at Detroit is the New Black, a retail accelerator space for women and minority designers to sell their merchandise, began mid-September and is currently offering a dozen high- school youth an immersive after-school curriculum to strengthen and empower them to pursue careers as business owners and designers in retail. The curriculum represents every aspect of the retail business development cycle, including stocking merchandise, ordering wholesale, and fulfilling online orders, all while earning a wage.
“The support and commitment from amazing partners like AT&T are what ensures we’re able to safely serve and provide world-class experiences, like our Industry Club for youth throughout southeastern Michigan,” said Shawn H. Wilson, president and CEO of BGCSM. “We’re on a mission to make sure youth are career, start-up and homeowner ready.”
After completion of the program, students can expect to walk out with 21st Century skills, industry certifications, industry mentorship and networking opportunities as well as paid work experience.
In addition to the Industry Club, AT&T Michigan sponsored the #WeDesignToo t-shirt design contest. The theme of the contest was social justice and prompted participants to express how they see racial equity issues through design. The winner received a $1,500 check and their designs will be sold by popular Detroit clothing companies such as Detroit Vs. Everybody and Detroit is the New Black.
“It’s really exciting to be a part of the journey for these young entrepreneurs,” said Roslyn Karamoko, founder of Detroit is the New Black. “There is so much potential in young Detroiters and we’re grateful to be able to help foster it through Industry Club.”
Lewis added, “Programming like the Industry Club and the #WeDesignToo design contest are steps in the right direction for creating equity in Metro Detroit. AT&T Michigan and the Believe Detroit initiative are proud to be early supporters and I can’t wait to see what program participants will achieve in the future.”
The Industry Club uses real-world experience and networking opportunities in the industry to open doors for metro-Detroit high school students. Believe Detroit is ex- cited to support their work and continues to look for opportunities to improve outcomes in Southeast Michigan.
To browse merchandise from the #WeDesign- Too Design Contest, Detroit entrepreneurs and the Boys & Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan, visit https://www.detroitisthenewblack.com/pages/themarketplace”