More than two dozen Grand Rapids and Detroit-area students will have an opportunity to participate in a new virtual technology challenge, thanks to a new partnership between ReBrand Cities and AT&T.
The Dream Big Virtual Technology Challenge begins with a kickoff event featuring a panel of special guests featuring Greg Kelser and Herman Moore. Students will then participate in virtual mentoring sessions with AT&T team members, who will act as sounding boards to help students develop their ideas. Finally, on December 9 and 10, students from each school will be able to pitch their final videos to a panel of judges.
“AT&T has hosted this event with ReBrand Cities for three years now and we are very excited to be able to participate again,” said David Lewis, president of AT&T Michigan. “Our Believe Detroit and Believe Grand Rapids initiatives are dedicated to providing educational opportunities for young people in these communities.”
Around 25 students from both Innovation Central High School in Grand Rapids and Detroit Edison Public School Academy will be given the opportunity to participate. Students can expect to walk away from the event with a variety of new skills including problem solving, public speaking and presentation skills as well as digital competency.
“The AT&T employees have been tremendous. Through partnerships with AT&T staff, we are able to give students the opportunity to interface with a professional, giving participants extra support over the course of the challenge,” said Hajj Flemings, Founder of Rebrand Cities. “It’s important to remember that kids are dealing with a lot right now, from virtual school to isolation, and the volunteer’s involvement is making a big difference.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on students of all ages. Many students are spending multiple hours a day online, even completing their schooling in entirely virtual formats. Special considerations were taken while designing this year’s Dream Big Challenge to ensure it wouldn’t be taxing for participants or interfere with other commitments they may have.
Flemings continued, “In previous years this event has focused on students in Detroit, but this year we have expanded our reach to include a group of kids in Grand Rapids as well.”
ReBrand Cities works with web developers, graphic designers and community stakeholders to assist small businesses in building their brand. ReBrand Cities will be able to take their skill set and use it to assist the high school students that are taking part in this year’s challenge.
“We are proud to partner with ReBrand Cities to bring this virtual challenge to more students than ever before. This event gives us the ability to touch the lives of kids in our communities, regardless of the restrictions in place due to the pandemic,” said Lewis.
AT&T, through its Believe Detroit and Believe Grand Rapids initiatives, in cooperation with ReBrand Cities, is excited to see how participants will dream big during the tech challenge and the impact these students will continue to have on their communities in the future.