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On Friday, Aug. 17, AT&T presented Thomas University with a $26,000 check to help support the Yes I Can! Scholars Program at the TU. The program will help ninth-grade students in Thomas, Grady and Decatur counties, by providing with opportunities to help them reach their academic goals and graduate ready to succeed in higher education. Joining in the presentation are (from left) Dr. Dusty Kornegay, TU Trustee; Gary Tucker, TU Trustee; Phillip Davis, TU Trustee; Melanie Martin, TU Director of Pre-College Programs; Darlene Taylor, State Representative; Courtney Brinson, AT&T Regional Director of External Affairs; Dr. Andy Sheppard, President of Thomas University; Jody Redding, representing U.S. Sen Johnny Isaakson; Charles White, representing U.S. Sen. David Perdue; Bryant Beadles, TU Trustee; and Terry Rouse, TU Trustee.

 

AT&T contribution supports Yes I Can! Scholars program at Thomas University

Efforts to keep local students connected to a positive future got a boost as AT&T, a company that has been connecting people for well over a century, contributed $26,000 to help support the Yes I Can! Scholars Program at Thomas University.

Federal and state elected officials, members of the Thomas University Board of Trustees and other community leaders joined AT&T Regional Director of External Affairs Courtney Brinson in presenting the $26,000 contribution to Dr. Andy Sheppard, president of Thomas University.

“Youth today face so many challenges and a program such as Yes I Can! will provide life-changing experiences for students,” said Marta Jones Turner, chairman of TU’s Academic Affairs Committee. “Thomas University and AT&T are to be commended for their deep and continuing commitment to offering opportunities that help shape a better future for our students.”

Thomas University’s Yes I Can! Scholars Program supports rural ninth-grade students in Thomas, Grady and Decatur counties, providing opportunities to help them reach their academic goals and graduate college ready.

Yes I Can! Scholars Program offers the following services:

  • Assessment: Every YICS will be assessed and offered support in learning about educational options. The Learning And Study Strategies Inventory – High School Version (LASSI-HS) is an assessment tool designed to measure students’ use of learning and study strategies. In addition, students who are not performing on grade level, will take and use Moby Max, or a similar program, that identifies learning gaps so students may engage in computerized instruction to enhance skills and become grade or above level in mathematics and reading. Finally, an in-house assessment will be used as a pre/post test to determine next best steps as the students prepare for college.
  • On Campus Power Hour: Scholars who are not performing on grade level or who are at risk of failing math or have literacy issues will receive additional assistance, including an hour per week of study strategies support.
  • Saturday Academy: Once a month, all YIC Scholars will participate in the Saturday Academy, receiving enrichment in math, reading and an “elective” area such as foreign language, coding, STEM, or academic competition.
  • Mentoring: Scholars considered at-risk will be paired with a mentor, who will meet with them on the school’s campus at least twice a month for additional support.
  • Parent Involvement: Parents of Scholars will be invited to participate in Parent University, a 13-week program using the Raising Highly Capable Kids curriculum. Also, once a year, parents will be invited to participate in the Parent Conference, designed to provide information needed to help their child navigate high school.
  • Advisement: The advisor will communicate with Scholars about implementing the Yes I Can! Plan, a personal guide to support successful completion of the 9th grade. 
  • End-of-year Celebration: YIC Scholars will participate in a college visit and cultural enrichment tour at the end of the year.

“At Thomas University, we are committed to helping all young people, especially those who need us most, reach their full potential,” said Dr. Andy Sheppard, president of Thomas University. “This would not be possible without incredible corporate citizens like AT&T and community leaders, who give so much of their time and energy to support programs that make a life-changing difference for our students – tomorrow’s leaders.”

“At AT&T, we believe there is no better way to help grow communities and encourage families than by supporting the education of our youth,” stated Brinson. “Young people are our future, and we are convinced that each has the potential to achieve something great. We are pleased to have the opportunity to participate in a program that positions Georgia’s youth for success both now and in the future.”

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