Our Economic Empowerment effort is a continuation of AT&T’s Believe HoustonSM initiative to empower opportunity youth within Houston’s Complete Communities. As part of this commitment, Believe Houston SM has committed to hosting quarterly panels on professionalism and interview tips as well as job shadowing opportunities for the youth of 8 Million Stories – a 501(c)(3) non-profit diversion program to disrupt the school to prison pipeline.
The first event was held on Wednesday, January 27th at the AT&T Bellaire Headquarters location. The AT&T employees who participated onsite as panelists told their authentic and very vulnerable stories. Based on the challenges of managing events during the COVID-19 pandemic, the local leadership team had to be extremely creative to provide a safe, socially distant environment. And they excelled with great success!
“[The event] will by far be one of the most memorable days for many of our students. Having the opportunity to hear from individuals that look like them and come from similar backgrounds was priceless. As I sat in the back and observed how engaged, joyful and inquisitive our students were as they listened to the experiences of all the presenters, I knew this is the type of experience that our students need more of. They could not stop talking about the contacts and numbers that they received and how they're going to work for AT&T, the kind of cars and apartments they will have and the amazing employment benefits that they will take advantage of (cable discount!).” Marvin Pierre – Executive Director, 8 Million Stories
Houston’s Complete Communities is a city initiative dedicated to uplifting and revitalizing communities in Houston through civic engagement, relationship-building with civic leaders, and programs dedicated to economic empowerment. Within the Complete Communities, the median income ranges from just above $24,000 to under $40,000 (Pre COVID-19) in most neighborhoods. Houston’s Complete Communities are defined as the following neighborhoods:
“Organizations like 8 Million Stories are making a profound impact on individuals, families and communities in Houston.”Stacy Canady, — Assistant Vice President, AT&T Texas
“Organizations like 8 Million Stories are making a profound impact on individuals, families and communities in Houston,” said Stacy Canady, Assistant Vice President, AT&T Texas. “We are proud to stand with them as we work to lift up and strengthen the Complete Communities in Houston.”
Young people, especially young men of color, are disappearing from the community and our Believe Houston team wanted to engage to impact change in the community where we live and work!