By Skills

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., June 18, 2018 —Efforts to keep local students connected to a positive future got a boost as AT&T, which has been connecting people for well over a century, contributed $20,000 to the Birmingham Education Foundation’s (Ed) Career Development Conference.

The Career Development Conference is a multi-year curriculum originally developed in partnership with the Birmingham Rotary Club that introduces high school students to a diverse group of community and business leaders who teach the students essential skills needed to graduate and for continued success beyond. Through a continued collaboration, AT&T Aspire has provided the opportunity for students to participate in the skill building curriculum since 2015.

The program is entering its fifth year, serving students comprehensively throughout their high school experience with a range of career skills, including networking, public speaking, and interview skills. Originally launched as a pilot program on interview skills for juniors during the 2014 – 2015 school year, the skill-building curriculum now serves over 1,000 students annually. And, in 2016, Ed introduced an interview fair in coordination with the program to support students interviewing for paid internships through Ed’s Executive Internship program. To date, those student interns have completed more than 5,385 hours of internships.

“At Ed, we are constantly working to provide opportunities for students to graduate with the essential skills that colleges and employers require,” said Executive Director J.W. Carpenter. “The skill building conference and in-school sessions are key ways we support Birmingham City Schools students in preparation for college and career success. We are thrilled to have AT&T Aspire’s continued support, which has allowed for incredible expansion of this meaningful program, serving students continuously through graduation and preparing them for what’s next.”

In a school year, students participating in the skill-building curriculum receive one semester of weekly in-school instruction from Birmingham area leaders. At the conclusion of the first semester, students attend a conference during which presentations are given on key topics such as making a positive first impression, networking, public speaking, resume writing, and personal branding.  After the conference, students receive a final in-school session for follow-up as well as other ongoing opportunities to further prepare them to graduate career and college ready.

“The Birmingham area is incredibly fortunate to have the Ed Foundation’s leadership in offering the Career Development Conference, a unique learning opportunity for tomorrow’s leaders,” stated C. Wayne Hutchens, president of AT&T Alabama. “Providing our students with opportunities to meet with area community and business leaders and to learn skills that prepare them in college and career application is key to their continued success and our state’s future.”

About Birmingham Education Foundation

The Birmingham Education Foundation (Ed) dedicates itself to ensuring more students in the Birmingham City Schools are on the path to college and career readiness. In the 2016-17 academic year, Ed began serving more than 6,000 students through its combined program offerings. For more information about Ed, please visit us online at

Photo of $20,000 AT&T Aspire Contribution Presentation

Accepting the $20,000 AT&T Aspire contribution are Ed’s Board Member Jamelle Prewitt and Executive Director J.W. Carpenter. Presenting the contribution are AT&T Alabama President C. Wayne Hutchens and External Affairs Manager Terri Williams.

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