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AT&T Invests $1.5 Million in OneGoal to Help Increase College Graduation Rates for High School Students from Low-Income Communities

This contribution supports OneGoal’s plan to serve an additional 4,000 students with its college and career model in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Massachusetts and New York

CHICAGO, Oct. 3, 2016 — Thousands of high school students nationwide will benefit from the expansion of OneGoal, a college access and success organization. Founded and based in Chicago, OneGoal works to dramatically increase the percentage of students from low-income communities who complete college. The expansion is made possible by a $1.5 million contribution from AT&T.

OneGoal has grown from a small afterschool program serving 32 students (called OneGoal Fellows) in Chicago to a movement that equips excellent teachers with the curriculum, technology, training and coaching to implement OneGoal’s three-year, in-school model. OneGoal plans to serve more than 9,300 Fellows throughout the country by the end of the 2016-2017 school year and is currently working with Fellows and teachers in 180 high schools, 84 of which are in Chicago. AT&T’s contribution will allow OneGoal to serve more Fellows in their flagship region of Chicago, as well as Atlanta, Houston, Massachusetts and New York.

This contribution is part of AT&T Aspire, AT&T’s signature philanthropic initiative that drives innovation in education to promote student success in school and beyond.

“It is exciting to see these high school students accelerate their academic achievement and succeed into their college years with the support of the OneGoal, and AT&T is proud to support the expansion of OneGoal to help thousands of more students – here in Chicago and in communities across America,” said AT&T Illinois President Paul La Schiazza. “Through Aspire, we are committed to supporting organizations implementing verifiable, evidenced-based interventions focused on improving high school retention rates and preparing students – especially those most at-risk – for college or careers. ”

OneGoal CEO and Co-Founder, Jeff Nelson, shared, “AT&T’s investment will allow us to increase our reach to more than 5,000 Fellows within Chicago, and fuel our expansion nationwide. This collaboration is also the catalyst to key innovations of the OneGoal model, from curriculum, to the training and support of those teachers who lead it. We are continuously improving not only how we support our Fellows, but how we can better recruit and coach the truly gifted teachers who work with Fellows throughout the three-year program. We couldn’t be more grateful to AT&T for recognizing the incredible talent of our teachers, and ultimately becoming a part of our Fellows’ success stories.”

Illinois State Representative of the 32nd District André M. Thapedi said, “People are always asking ‘what can we do to reduce violence’ in communities like the one I serve. The answer to that question starts with education. I thank OneGoal and AT&T for investing in these vulnerable communities so that its residents can get access to a quality education and build stronger communities for the next generation.”

A University of Chicago evaluation led by Tim Kautz and Wladimir Zanoni, and advised by Nobel Laureate James Heckman found:

  • OneGoal increases college enrollment and college persistence rates by 10 to 20 percentage points.
  • OneGoal improves high school academic indicators including ACT scores, number of credits accumulated, GPA, and absences.
  • Growth in non-cognitive skill development is a factor in the positive college outcomes for OneGoal Fellows.
  • Non-cognitive skills can be measured using school administrative data.

For the students, like North Park University sophomore Cesar Bustos, participation in OneGoal provided the tools and mentorship to help overcome barriers to college.

“Through OneGoal, I learned that I have a powerful voice,” said North Park University sophomore and OneGoal alumnus Cesar Bustos. “I also learned that I can achieve the ambitious goals I set for myself. My goal is to become a teacher in order to help students understand that their perceived weaknesses are not flaws but rather gaps that can be improved and closed.”

About OneGoal

OneGoal is a college access and success organization that is working to dramatically increase the percentage of students from low-income communities who complete college.

OneGoal recruits high-performing teachers – those already working in high schools in low-income communities – and provides them with the training and support to become OneGoal Program Directors. These Program Directors implement OneGoal’s three-year college success model with a cohort of Fellows (students), beginning with in-school daily classes in their junior and senior years of high school and continuing with remote support through the first day of sophomore year of college.

About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T

OneGoal is a college access and success organization that is working to dramatically increase the percentage of students from low-income communities who complete college.

OneGoal recruits high-performing teachers – those already working in high schools in low-income communities – and provides them with the training and support to become OneGoal Program Directors. These Program Directors implement OneGoal’s three-year college success model with a cohort of Fellows (students), beginning with in-school daily classes in their junior and senior years of high school and continuing with remote support through the first day of sophomore year of college. For more information, visit http://stage.onegoalgraduation.org

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