AT&T Donates $50,000 to Help Low-Income Georgians
Atlanta – More than 1.2 million adults in Georgia don’t have a high school diploma. For many, taking the GED® test and earning a GED credential can change their lives for the better, including opening doors to higher-paying jobs.
Except that some can’t afford the $160 that is required to take the five-part GED test.
AT&T wants to change that. For the second time in a year, the telecommunications giant has made a generous donation of $50,000 that the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) will use to create GED testing scholarships for less-fortunate Georgians. The money will also help some GED students take the next step and complete a technical college education.
Sylvia Russell, the president of AT&T Georgia, announced the donation and presented the check to TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson during the monthly meeting of the TCSG State Board on December 6. Russell is also a member of the board that sets the policies and procedures for Georgia’s 25 technical colleges and their technical education, adult education, and workforce training programs.
"The adult education program of the Technical College System of Georgia is a critical part of the education system in Georgia ensuring qualified low-income adults have access to the classes and testing they need to continue their education and skills training," said Russell. "We are very pleased to support the TCSG's efforts to improve the lives of Georgians and to strengthen our workforce which is vital to the economic environment in our state."
Jackson thanked AT&T, which is the largest corporate donor to the TCSG’s adult education program. “A more literate and better-educated Georgia means improved lives, stronger communities, and more reasons for business and industry to expand in our state. With this donation, like the one before it, AT&T shows that it cares about less-fortunate Georgians who only need a little help to discover their full potential. We thank Sylvia Russell and the entire AT&T corporate family for their great generosity and desire to provide scholarships for our deserving adult learners.”
The latest donation from AT&T will create opportunities for almost 1200 low-income Georgians to receive a scholarship voucher that will help pay for most of the cost of the full GED test. To be considered for the award, the learner must be enrolled in a state-approved adult education class and have a minimum score of 500 on each of the five GED practice exams that cover reading, writing, science, social studies and mathematics.
The TCSG Office of Adult Education is also partnering with six of the state’s 25 technical colleges on the development of a new initiative, Georgia Accelerating Opportunity, that will allow adult learners to enroll in college while also preparing to take the GED test. A portion of the AT&T donation will provide 65 program participants with $150 awards for their college books, supplies and equipment.
Last year, the TCSG Office of Adult Education served almost 82,000 Georgians through Adult Basic and Secondary Education and GED instruction and testing programs. More than 17,000 of those adult learners passed the GED test and earned their GED diploma. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011 Statistical Abstract, a person with a high school or GED diploma earns approximately $10,000 more annually than a person without those education credentials.
About Philanthropy at AT&T: AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its philanthropic initiatives, AT&T has a long history of supporting projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; and address community needs. In 2011, more than $115 million was contributed through corporate-, employee- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs.
About TCSG: Enrollment at the 25 TCSG colleges grew at a record pace between 2008 and 2011, fueled in part by the large number of unemployed and under-employed Georgians who turned to the colleges to gain knowledge and learn new skills. Last year, the TCSG colleges enrolled more than 172,000 students and produced 35,000 graduates in certificate, diploma and degree programs. In addition, the TCSG Office of Adult Education oversees Georgia’s adult education and GED® ® testing programs.
The TCSG also supports Georgia’s economic development through the internationally-recognized Quick Start program, which provides contract training through the TCSG colleges for new and expanding business and industry throughout the state.
For more information about TCSG, go to www.tcsg.edu