AT&T Donates $50,000 to Fund STEM Scholarships at Grambling State University

AT&T Scholarship Presentation PR Photo - Sum15

AT&T donated $50,000 to Grambling State University on July 1 for student scholarships in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. Back Row (L to R): Herbert Simmons, Jr., president of the Grambling Faculty Senate; Grambling Mayor Pro-tempore Roy Jackson; SGA President Jonathan Wallace; Jalexi Heard, SGA executive assistant; Rep. Patrick Jefferson; Sen. Rick Gallot, Jr.; Cecil Holt, SGA chief justice; Jan Carter, AT&T sales executive for the employee sponsorship program; Jan Waguespack, AT&T client solution executive for higher education; and David Aubrey, AT&T regional director. Front Row (L to R): Adarian Williams, GSU sophomore class president; Asia Scott, SGA director of academic success; Astra Watts, GSU junior class president; GSU President Willie Larkin; Michael Meadows, SGA chief of staff; Grambling Mayor Edward Jones; and Charles Scott, AT&T engineering manager. Photo by Glenn Lewis.

GRAMBLING, LA – AT&T has made a $50,000 contribution to the Grambling University Foundation Inc., for scholarships in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to be awarded to 23 students for one year. One superior student will receive a $5,000 scholarship, two will receive $2,500 awards, and 20 students will be awarded $2,000 scholarships.

“Supporting STEM education in Louisiana is of the utmost importance if we are going to continue to move forward as a global leader in innovation,” said state Sen. Rick Gallot, Jr. “These students are our future, and we must continue to invest in their education and development if we want to continue to see growth.”

Grambling State University is a comprehensive, historically black, public institution with a community of learners who strive for excellence in their pursuit of knowledge. AT&T’s scholarship contribution will help with the university’s goal to increase the retention of STEM students. It follows a $15,000 donation to Grambling in December 2014 to sponsor the HBCU Hacks program, a 48-hour program where student teams create a mobile app over the course of a weekend.  “Grambling recognizes the importance of investing in STEM education, and we are proud to have Senator Gallot who supports and mirrors our drive for excellence,” said Helen Godfrey Smith, chairwoman of the Grambling University Foundation Board of Directors. “Research has shown that students who receive financial aid in the form of grants and scholarships have improved rates of success, and we are thrilled to be able to give this chance to 23 deserving students.”

These scholarships will also help fill a statewide need for STEM-trained employees necessary for Louisiana’s future workforce. Experts estimate Louisiana alone will have 69,000 STEM vacancies by 2018.

“It is vital that we prepare tomorrow’s workforce today,” said AT&T Louisiana President Sonia Perez. “Our country will need thousands of new employees to fill science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related jobs to meet the demands of the billions of dollars in new projects already in development. Supporting institutions like Grambling will go a long way toward preparing our future workforce, across our state and the throughout the country.”

The minimum grade point average to qualify as an AT&T scholar and maintain a scholarship is 3.0. Scholars will be selected based on their application, essay, faculty recommendation, involvement in STEM-related extracurricular activities and unmet financial need.

“I appreciate this gesture and this investment in Grambling State University. This is not just a giving of a check; it is an investment in the future of our young people,” GSU President Willie Larkin said.

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