LOS ANGELES, March 29, 2019 – AT&T has doubled down on its longstanding support of Proyecto Pastoral and the Promesa Boyle Heights collaborative with a $1 million contribution. The donation recognizes the community-building organization’s success in supporting and motivating underserved students to stay in school, graduate, and prepare for both college and careers.
The AT&T funding will be used, in part, to support expansion of the Promesa Boyle Heights Community School Model, a multi-tiered student support system integrating social and emotional learning and adding transition support for incoming freshmen and graduating seniors, serving nearly 2,450 low-income students. Since the initiative began in 2011, graduation rates at Mendez High School have risen from 34% to 95% for the class of 2018, according to school data. Roosevelt High School has also seen an increase in the number of students earning a high school diploma or equivalency, going from 78% in 2017 to 85% in 2018.
“AT&T’s investment in Promesa Boyle Heights has played a pivotal role in establishing a groundbreaking Community School (CS) Model that is raising student achievement and graduation rates in Boyle Heights,” said Cynthia Sanchez, executive director of Proyecto Pastoral. “This increased investment supports program expansions to target high-risk students, integration of social-emotional learning, and transition supports to prepare students to navigate postsecondary systems.”
The contribution is also in conjunction with AT&T’s new Believe Los Angeles? initiative. Believe Los Angeles is a grassroots, employee-driven campaign committed to supporting workforce development, career readiness programs, with a special emphasis on digital media and entertainment employment opportunities for underserved students in Los Angeles, especially diverse millennials. The initiative is an extension of AT&T Believes, a larger company-wide initiative designed to create positive change in local communities.
“We believe strongly in the importance of preparing future generations with the skills they need for success in the digital age,” said Rhonda Johnson, state president of AT&T California. “We’re honored to support Proyecto Pastoral and the Promesa Boyle Heights collaborative, whose mission to give young people the support and motivation they need to stay on track for college and career success aligns with that belief.”
The donation is part of AT&T Aspire, the company’s initiative to help provide access to education and training people need to get and keep good jobs. Since 2012, AT&T Aspire has contributed $2.35 million to Proyecto Pastoral. Proyecto Pastoral and the Promesa Boyle Heights initiative were selected as one of 10 recipients nationwide to share in $9.25 million in celebration of AT&T recent Aspire’s 10-year anniversary.
Since AT&T launched Aspire, marked progress has been made. The 2015-16 national high school graduation rate now stands at 84.1%, an all-time high and up from 74.9% for the class of 2008. Looking forward, as a part of the Grad Nation campaign to drive America to a 90% high school graduation rate by 2020, more work needs to be done.
Currently, 1 in 6 students fails to graduate high school on time with their class. The 10 non-profits, including Proyecto Pastoral, are working on the front lines every day to change the fate of those students. They were selected from previous AT&T Aspire competitive funding awardees based on their effectiveness in helping students graduate ready for career or college. These programs use evidence-based approaches and are able to demonstrate a measurable impact on the students they serve.
AT&T invests in education and job training to create a skilled and diverse workforce that powers our company – and our country – for the future. Since 2008, we’ve committed $500 million to programs to help millions of students in all 50 states and around the world through the AT&T Aspire initiative. AT&T Aspire brings together the power of our network – our employees, our technology and organizations – to connect people to opportunities through education and job training.
About Proyecto Pastoral
Proyecto Pastoral was founded in 1986 by community residents in partnership with the California Province of Jesuits. Responding to critical needs in the community, the ‘founding women’ organized and created many of the initiatives we carry forth today. These include our IMPACTO youth development program; Early Education Centers; Comunidad en Movimiento/Community in Action [our leadership development and community organizing work]; the Guadalupe Homeless Project; and the Promesa Boyle Heights Collaborative, building a cradle to college and career continuum of support for Boyle Heights students. Proyecto has been ‘working with our hearts for social change’ for the last 33 years of as we carry forward our mission to empower the community of Boyle Heights through grassroots projects in education,leadership, and service. To learn more visit our page at www.proyectopastoral.org
About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T
AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. We have a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities, promote academic and economic achievement, and address community needs. Our AT&T Aspire initiative uses innovation in education to drive student success in school and beyond. With a financial commitment of $500 million since 2008, AT&T is leveraging technology, relationships and social innovation to help all students make their biggest dreams a reality.