By Anne Wintroub - Director of Social Innovation at AT&T
Today, across the United States, there are an estimated 5 million young adults disconnected from stable career pathways, and 12 million jobs requiring postsecondary education or training that will go unfilled in the next decade. This is a massive gap, and one that AT&T is working to help fill with a strong talent pipeline. For our company – and our country – to succeed in the 21st century, we need to ensure that the future workforce has the right skills.
That’s why I was so excited to launch the 5th year of our AT&T Aspire Accelerator program. Since we welcomed our first Accelerator class in 2015, we’ve had the honor of working with some of the most promising startups in ed-tech, led by founders who are truly changing the game by bringing innovative skills building resources into hundreds of thousands of classrooms. The 27 participants from the 4 previous classes are currently reaching more than 23 million students and have attracted more than $35 million in funding after AT&T’s investment.
The 8 inspiring organizations that we’ve selected as members of the 2019 Aspire Accelerator class to participate in the $1 Million AT&T Skills Building Challenge are working to give students the skills they need today to succeed in the careers of tomorrow.
Meet the innovative, mission-driven organizations seeking to help every student achieve a bright, successful future who make up the 2019 AT&T Aspire Accelerator class:
AllHere (Boston, Massachusetts) replaces outdated responses to chronic absenteeism with an online attendance improvement operating system that identifies barriers to attendance, delivers personalized interventions and analyzes the results.
Boddle Learning (Kansas City, Missouri) helps teachers identify learning gaps and differentiate their students’ learning styles quickly and accurately, using gameplay to boost student engagement and capture more actionable data at the same time.
Cognitive ToyBox (Brooklyn, New York) saves teachers up to three hours per week, shortens the feedback cycle from assessment to instructional adjustment and enables more objective data collection through a game-based assessment platform.
Sidekick Education (501(c)(3)/Madison, Wisconsin) uses artificial intelligence to reinvent the high school internship as an in-class project, so any classroom can help close the STEM skills gap.
UPchieve (501(c)(3)/Brooklyn, New York) provides free 24/7 STEM tutoring to underserved high school students, offering late-night homework support and test prep to help motivate them to finish high school and pursue rewarding careers.
UR TURN (Minneapolis, Minnesota) drives student and parent engagement through a goal-setting and progress-mapping tool with a visualized tracking dashboard. Setting and achieving goals correlates to college and career readiness.
WeThrive (501(c)(3)/New York, New York) helps teachers increase classroom engagement, real-world learning and future-readiness by creating student-run companies that earn real revenues through a web and mobile app.
Wildcards (Fort Worth, Texas) serves as a low-cost, easy-to-use electronic programming product designed to help students learn about coding, electronics and engineering while developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
The Aspire Accelerator $1 Million AT&T Skills Building Challenge will connect the 2019 class with the resources, services, expertise and relationships they need to drive change in how people acquire skills needed for good jobs and rewarding careers.
I can’t wait to watch what this class can accomplish in their ongoing efforts to create and foster solutions that prepare students for future success.