AT&T supports African American Male Scholars Initiative

JULY 21, 2021

AT&T Supports African American Male Scholars Initiative


Left to Right: Lauren Winkelman, Development Officer, Greenville Tech Foundation; Kia Keyton, Director of the African American Male Scholars Initiative (AAMSI), Greenville Technical College; Amanda Taylor, Regional Director of External Affairs, AT&T South Carolina; and Dr. Alecia Watt, Director of Educational Opportunity Programs, Greenville Technical College


AT&T is helping with closing the gap in student connectivity through a $15,000 contribution to support the  African  American  Male  Scholars  Initiative  (AAMSI).

The contribution, given through the Greenville Tech Foundation, will be used to ensure that AAMSI participants have 24/7 access to tutoring via and to offset any learning losses that may have occurred during the pandemic. In addition, it will provide tutoring options for AAMSI students who prefer to come to campus for in-person tutoring services. AT&T has also graciously provided funds for travel vouchers for students who need assistance to travel to in-person tutoring or other AAMSI/campus programming.

“We are very grateful to AT&T for partnering with Greenville Technical College to support our African American male students,” said Ann Wright, vice president for advancement with the Greenville Tech Foundation. “The AAMSI program is seeing strong results, and with the help of our committed donors, we can grow the program and see even greater success rates.”

Greenville Technical College’s mission is to transform lives through education. Too often, however, African American males haven’t been among the beneficiaries of this transformative power. A year-long study found that African American males at the college had a retention rate of only 42% compared to 56% for white male students. The on-time completion rate for African American males was half that of all males at only 7%. National studies show that the poverty rate for African Americans is more than double the rate for whites. Education is the key to reducing those poverty numbers.

In its first year, AAMSI increased retention rates for participants to 57% while African American males not taking part in the program were retained at a rate of 45%. Six of the participants graduated with a certificate or degree, and 14 achieved Dean’s List status with GPAs of 3.4 or higher on a minimum of 12 semester credit hours. Plans call for increasing yearly enrollment in the program from 100 students to 125 students beginning this fall.

“AT&T has a long history of supporting education, for we firmly believe that everyone can succeed, regardless of the neighborhood they live in or the ZIP code in which they were born,” said Amanda Taylor, regional director of external affairs for AT&T South Carolina. “We are proud to support Greenville Technical College and the work being done through the AAMSI to change lives and futures.”