New Year, New Beginnings

Jan 3, 2014 12:00 PM ET

AT&T Consumer Blog

What would January 2nd be without some New Year resolutions?  Over the years, I’ve had a few – from eating better to working out more to going to bed earlier, but this year resolutions are focused on helping kids stay in school. As the Executive Director of AT&T Aspire, I’m proud to kick 2014 off with the AT&T Aspire High School Success Initiative Request for Proposal (RFP).  While initially announced on December 16, 2013, the pre-qualification survey opens today!

This RFP is part of AT&T Aspire, our commitment to helping more students graduate from high school ready for college and careers.  More than 1 million students in all 50 states have been impacted since the program launched in 2008

We’re looking forward to impacting even more students though this RFP by working with programs that will give students the tools to succeed in school, in the workplace and in life. 

What are my top three resolutions to help make that happen?

1) Waste no time!  The pre-qualification survey launches today and is open through January 17.  Those respondents who best exemplify the goals of the Aspire RFP will be invited to submit a full proposal.

2) Work with the best!  We’re looking for organizations with proven results in keeping kids in school.  Organizations with evidence-based interventions designed to improve retention, promotion and graduation rates of students at risk of dropping out of school will be well positioned for this RFP.  Programs should serve students currently in grades 9-12 or who have dropped out of grades 9-12, and can be either:

  • A single program in one community, qualifying for funding of up to $300,000 in total for the 2014/15 and 2015/16 school years; or
  • A single program in multiple communities (may be in the same or different states), qualifying for funding of up to $1 million in total for the 2014/15 and 2015/16 school years.

3) Stay on track!  No, not by diet or exercise, but by working towards the goal set by the Grad Nation Campaign to reach a 90 percent national graduation rate.  Currently, about one in five students still do not graduate with their peers.  And many of those who do are not fully prepared for success in college and careers.  

Please join me in making and keeping these resolutions – together we can drive innovation in education and spread the word about the Aspire RFP.  Here’s to a more seniors wearing graduation caps and gowns in 2014!