Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy is Only Tennessee Organization Among 47 Recipients Nationwide to Share in $10 Million to Help Stem the High School Dropout Crisis
CHATTANOOGA, TN, Wednesday, September 12, 2012 — The Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy was presented with a $100,000 AT&T Aspire contribution today to advance the school’s STEM Pipeline and to improve academic and college-going outcomes for students.
The AT&T Aspire contribution will support core Academy services and offer additional services and support structures to improve the academic performance of students including a rigorous summer enrichment camp, STEM focused curriculum, college readiness courses and financial aid support, internship and mentorship opportunities and college tours. It will target all high school students (grades 9-12) and will impact a total of 194 students during the 2-year project period (84 in the 2012-13 school year and 110 in 2013-14).
“Research suggests that too many times students from low socio-economic backgrounds drop out and never complete high school.,” said Dr. Elaine Swafford, Director of the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy. “We are committed to reversing this trend, and with the support from AT&T Aspire, we’ll help 194 High School Students stay in school and expose them to critical academic and career skills in the STEM area.”
Educators in schools and non-profits across the country have a unique understanding of the challenges students face in their communities. Through a competitive process, 47 schools and non-profits, including the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy, were selected from thousands nationwide. To learn more about all of the organizations that were selected, please visit www.att.com/local-impact.
“CGLA is like a family and is helping me reach my goal of graduating and to see that attending college is possible,” said Amber Puckett, CGLA student. “I am excited about the materials the Aspire program will allow us to purchase for our math and science classrooms and to be able to learn more about colleges I can attend.”
In the United States, one student drops out of school every 26 seconds. Nationally, students from low- income families drop out at a rate four times higher than students from higher income families.
“The Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy is a real community success story that is changing the lives of the young women who attend it,” said State Representative Gerald McCormick. “AT&T’s support of these young women will provide exciting new opportunities for them and support the work of the dedicated teachers, administrators and parents who make CGLA run.”
“Keeping our teenagers in high school and preparing them for success after graduation benefits our students and our communities,” said Gregg Morton, President of AT&T Tennessee. “We are proud to support the women of CGLA and to help them stay in school and to take the next steps toward college and career.”
The AT&T Aspire program, with more than 1 million students impacted since its launch in 2008, is one of the largest corporate commitments focused on stemming the high school dropout crisis. AT&T announced a new quarter-billion-dollar expansion to the program in March, bringing the total commitment to $350 million.
Founded in 2009 with an inaugural class of seventy-five, the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy (CGLA) provides Chattanooga area girls and young women with a rigorous college preparatory education focused on math, science, and technology in a supportive environment that nurtures self confidence, inspires leadership, encourages critical thinking, and promotes academic excellence. CGLA continues to expand to serve grades 6-12 and offers a college-preparation curriculum, which emphasizes Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
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