Press Releases


December 08, 2015

Students from  El Cajon Valley High get a personal tour AT&T's Data Center in San Diego.  


SAN DIEGO, CA — On Thursday, Dec. 10, students from El Cajon Valley High School will participate in a mentoring event with AT&T employee volunteers, as part of the company’s Aspire Mentoring Academy and Junior Achievement of San Diego County (JASD)’s Job Shadow initiative. The event will be at the AT&T San Diego Data Center, located at 7337 Trade Street in Mira Mesa from 9.30 AM to 1.30 PM.

The JA Job Shadow Initiative will inform, inspire and prepare 60 students to be successful in their future professional pursuits by giving them the opportunity to learn first-hand from working professionals.

Providing young people with real-world learning experiences can be key to improving high school graduation rates. Currently, one in five students do not graduate with their class on time. In San Diego, 18 percent of students will not complete high school on time and earn a diploma this year, according to the latest data released by U.S. Department of Education.

JA of San Diego and AT&T are hoping to change this trend by inspiring youth to look beyond high school and dream for a bigger and brighter future. One of the key benefits of this job shadow program is that it helps students recognize the link between academic subjects and the actual workplace skills. While spending a day at AT&T, students are exposed to real-world of learning and technology. They learn dressing and speaking professionally, being on time and working as a team, are just as important as a strong academic foundation.

The Aspire Mentoring Academy /JASD Job Shadow initiative is one of many mentoring sessions taking place across the country during the 2015- 2016 school year. A total of 51 JA Areas across the United States have been invited to participate in Aspire Mentoring Academy as part of the national collaboration, which will reach 13,000 students. The collaboration is supported by a nearly $1 million contribution from AT&T. Aspire Mentoring Academy is the key community engagement program of Aspire, AT&T’s signature education initiative focused on school success and workforce readiness.

Through Aspire Mentoring Academy, the company’s employees are engaging in their communities with a goal to provide 1 million hours of mentoring to students at-risk of dropping out of high school. Many of AT&T’s approximately 240,000 employees are participating in this program to share career advice, skills and knowledge with teens that need it most. Building on the success of the earlier AT&T/JA Job ShadowTM initiative, which provided students with more than 100,000 job shadow opportunities, AT&T employees will share life experiences and career advice through project-based activities during the workday.

“Our employees are our greatest asset – and the Aspire Mentoring Academy gives them the opportunity to make a lasting impact on a young person's life through mentoring. We want to help students connect the importance of what they are learning in the classroom today to their future success,” said Randy Okamura, Director External Affairs San Diego/Imperial Counties of AT&T California and JA Board Member. “By working with Junior Achievement, our employees will connect with even more students this school year to share life experiences and career advice through project-based activities.”

“Junior Achievement is excited to team up with AT&T on this important initiative. It is only through our collaboration and shared commitment to increase high school graduation rates that we will be successful. Both organizations remain focused on how to drive impact and equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to be college and career ready,” said Marla Black, President and CEO of Junior Achievement of San Diego County. To learn more about AT&T’s Aspire Mentoring Academy visit


About Junior Achievement of San Diego County: Since 1950, Junior Achievement of San Diego County has provided life-changing programs to more than 730,000 youth—in the classroom and after school—to foster an understanding of how the “real world” works. To ensure youth are prepared for their future, JA teaches them how to get a job, start a business and how to manage money. Home to the popular McGrath Family JA BizTown and Mission Fed JA Finance Park, JA of San Diego will reach 60,000+ youth from 36 school districts during the 2015-16-calendar school year. JA San Diego receives support from more than 5,200 volunteers annually, including 48 board members, and has a staff of 22 and a budget of $3 million. For the latest news and information, please visit:

About Philanthropy at AT&T: AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. In 2013, more than $130 million was contributed or directed through corporate-, employee-, social investment- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs. AT&T Aspire is AT&T’s signature education initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism, and mentoring