New learning resources school district to help at-risk high school students complete school and prepare for future with $100,000 from AT&T

Contribution is part of the nearly $10 million AT&T Aspire Local Impact initiative supporting best-of-best organizations. 

Bottom LR: Marilyn McGregor (NSS Principal), Susan Floyd (NNSS School Director), Steve Pickering, Eliza Hegwood, Phil Bryant, Nancy New, Jeanine Pickering, Mayo Flynt, Zach New, Alice Mitchell, Jordan Downs
Top LR: Jess New, Jake Winter, Donte Jones

JACKSON, MS, Sept. 27, 2012 — For 100 high school students in the Jackson area, this school year will mean additional resources to provide students with the tools and support they need to succeed in both school and future careers. This is thanks to the work being done through the New Learning Resources School District (NLRSD). 

To help with this mission, AT&T today joined with Governor Phil Bryant to announce a $100,000 donation to NLRSD. 

“Data shows that in 2011, approximately 16,000 Mississippi children did not graduate. That is 16,000 young people who do not have the educational foundation they need to establish secure futures,” Gov. Phil Bryant said. “As we continue to improve the business climate of this state and bring in more and better-paying jobs, our educational attainments must keep pace. I will continue to make education improvement a top priority for my administration, and I applaud innovative efforts to reach struggling students and help them on the path to success.” 

Because of its solid record of proven results in helping high school students, NLRSD has been named as one of 47 recipients nationwide that will share in nearly $10 million from AT&T. With more than one million students impacted since its launch in 2008, the AT&T Aspire program is one of the largest corporate commitments focused on helping more students graduate from high school ready for college and careers. AT&T announced an additional quarter-billion-dollar expansion to the program earlier this year, bringing the total commitment to $350 million. 

“It is an honor to support this program and the work they are doing to help stem the high school dropout crisis in our country,” said Mayo Flynt, President, AT&T Mississippi. “By educating Mississippi’s youth and helping them prepare for the future, we can ensure the future workforce of our company and our country will be stocked with qualified employees who have the 21st century skills that American businesses need to remain competitive in the digital, global economy.” 

Applicants were evaluated based on their accomplishments in serving students at risk of dropping out of high-school and their ability to use data to demonstrate the effectiveness of their work. After a rigorous and competitive process, NLRSD was identified as making a real difference in the community by supporting and motivating traditionally underserved students to stay in school and prepare for the next step in life. 

“New Learning Resources School District is dedicated to an educational philosophy that considers the diverse needs of today’s students and families,” said Dr. Nancy New, Executive Director, NLRSD. “The District and its Mississippi schools (New Summit School and North New Summit School) recognize the need for an individual, motivational and intellectual environment for students who may encounter learning differences. AT&T Foundation’s Aspire program will enhance this philosophy and support students in graduating from school. We are appreciative to AT&T for this invaluable support for our schools and communities.” 

This $100,000 will be used to support enhancements to NLRSD’s existing dropout prevention resources through the implementation of the Acceleration Program, providing small, alternative learning environments for 100 primarily African-American, special needs, at-risk students. 

“I am a junior, and having been to other schools, public and private, none of them compare to the care and attention given at New Summit School,” said Locke Leverette, junior at New Summit School. “Student input is always highly valued, and we really know we are cared for by the faculty and administration. The creative and engaging campus has smaller, but still spacious classrooms, so each student benefits from one-on-one instruction. I will proudly graduate from New Summit School. Students were so excited to learn that New Summit is receiving support from the AT&T Aspire program. The funding from this program will assist us in reaching our full potential and to achieve academic and life success. The Aspire Program will also assist the faculty in continuing to provide individualized teaching. The program will include many educational elements including developing life skills, improving academics, computer assisted instruction and technology inclusion.” 

To learn more about all of the organizations that were selected, please visit impact.