Roadtrip Nation and AT&T Conclude Spring Roadtrip Tour with VIP Panel at the Newseum

Sneak peak of documentary “Why Not Us?” that highlights success stories of first generation college students, including AT&T, Girl Scouts and Starbucks CEOs
Apr 29, 2015 3:05 PM ET

Washington, D.C., April 29, 2015 /3BL Media/ – Roadtrip Nation concludes its nationwide educational tour with support from AT&T through its Aspire initiative today at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. with a sneak peak of its new documentary and a panel of education experts. The “Educate to Empower,” event provides D.C. students and guests the opportunity to experience Roadtrip Nation, a career exploration organization that helps students find their own road in life, firsthand.

“Further exposure to opportunities and dialogue about how to gain access to them is critical to students, particularly those who are first-generation college students or underserved. This knowledge helps them believe there is a path beyond high school,” said Mike Marriner, Cofounder, Roadtrip Nation. “Roadtrip Nation is thrilled to team up with AT&T Aspire and the Newseum to showcase the Roadtrip Nation Experience that has and will continue to make an impact on students and educators alike.”

“Why Not Us?” the new Roadtrip Nation documentary, chronicles the stories of four first-generation college students who travel around the country to interview successful professionals who were first-generation college students themselves. Today’s sneak peak highlighted an interview with Randall Stephenson, Chairman and CEO, AT&T, he as well as Howard Schulz, CEO, Starbucks and Anna Mariz Chavez, CEO, Girl Scouts and many more, are included as representatives of what first-generation students can accomplish. The sneak peak of the documentary is in anticipation of its availability online today and on PBS stations across the country in the coming weeks.

Notable event panelists and guests include:

  • Kelem Butts, Director of Charitable Operations, AT&T
  • Alejandra Ceja, Executive Director, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
  • Steven Colón, Vice President, Access to Opportunity, College Board
  • Isa Ellis, National Vice President, Teens, College & Workforce Development, Boys & Girls Clubs of America
  • Kaya Henderson, Chancellor, D.C. Public Schools
  • Mike Marriner, Cofounder, Roadtrip Nation

“When students are able to link their personal interests to the possibility of a future career, their world opens up,” said Kelem Butts, Director, Charitable Operations, AT&T. “Roadtrip Nation makes these connections for students in their curriculum and now in their ‘Why Not Us’ documentary. We are proud to work with them to highlight that anyone can succeed, no matter the real or perceived obstacle.”

The collaboration between AT&T, through its Aspire initiative, and Roadtrip Nation has empowered 15,000 underserved students nationwide through the Roadtrip Nation Experience curriculum and events, equipping them to graduate high school by connecting their education to their interests. AT&T Aspire is the company’s signature education initiative focused on school success and workforce readiness. AT&T has worked with Roadtrip Nation since 2008 to provide innovative educational tools to students of all backgrounds.

“The Newseum is honored to partner with Roadtrip Nation and AT&T to host this important discussion,” said Barbara McCormack, vice president of education at the Newseum.  “At the Newseum, we see every day the importance of giving students access to reliable, diverse information about vital public issues. As students become informed, they not only deepen their understanding of these key issues, but also become more involved in their communities and attain higher levels of academic achievement overall.”

The “Educate to Empower” event marks Roadtrip Nation’s second event with the Newseum, working together to engage students by providing enhanced exposure and a platform for continual dialogue.

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About Philanthropy and Social Innovation at AT&T
AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. In 2013, more than $130 million was contributed or directed through corporate-, employee-, social investment- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs. AT&T Aspire is AT&T’s signature education initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism, and mentoring.© 2015 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the AT&T logo and all other marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies.

About Roadtrip Nation 
Roadtrip Nation creates self-discovery resources designed to help young people build fulfilling lives and careers around their interests. Combining self-reflection with real-world exposure, Roadtrip Nation tools enable youth to connect their interests to relevant life pathways and stay engaged with their futures. For more information, visit and

For more information regarding Roadtrip Nation’s current educational initiatives with AT&T, follow them on Twitter at @RoadtripEDU and @ConnectToGood.

About the Newseum
The mission of the Newseum is to champion the five freedoms of the First Amendment through exhibits, public programs and education. One of the top attractions in Washington, D.C., the Newseum’s dynamic, engaging and interactive museum allows visitors to experience the stories of yesterday and today through the eyes of the media while celebrating the freedoms guaranteed to all Americans by the First Amendment. The Newseum Institute serves as a forum for First Amendment study, exploration and education. The Newseum is a 501(c)(3) public charity funded by generous individuals, corporations and foundations, including the Freedom Forum. For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook and @NewseumEd.

Media Contacts:

Rob Manfredo
Phone: (212) 453-2499

Roadtrip Nation, Loureen Ayyoub 
Phone: 714 280 2153

Newseum, Jonathan Thompson
Phone: 202 292 6353