MADISON — During a visit with UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank today, AT&T Wisconsin State President Scott T. VanderSanden announced a $35,000 AT&T donation to support UW-Madison's PEOPLE (Pre-College Enrichment Opportunity Program for Learning Excellence) program and help underserved students prepare for and successfully complete higher education.
PEOPLE is a year-round pipeline learning adventure that challenges and stimulates underrepresented, economically disadvantaged and first generation students who are considering a college education. AT&T has supported the PEOPLE Program since its inception in 1999. To date, the company has provided more than $1.5 million to support the program. "The PEOPLE program has a proven track record of excellence in advancing the educational achievements of students from underserved communities throughout Wisconsin," said Patrick Sims, interim vice provost for diversity and climate at UW-Madison. "Thanks to the support of AT&T and others, the PEOPLE program has expanded over the years to now serve more than 1,300 students from across the state." The $35,000 AT&T donation will help support the program's work this spring semester to provide academic and mentoring services to PEOPLE College Scholars. Some of those services include academic advising, mentoring, tutoring, problem solving, peer-to-peer support, career development activities and linking to internship opportunities. Nearly 340 students participate as scholars in the PEOPLE program at UW-Madison. This year, 90 new UW-Madison freshmen were admitted to the university as PEOPLE College Scholars – the largest class to date. The six-year PEOPLE program begins in the summer after 6th grade and continues until high school graduation. One hundred percent of participants graduate from high school and 95 percent enroll in higher education. Seventy one percent enroll in UW System schools, with 52 percent enrolling at UW-Madison. "AT&T is very proud to support the UW-Madison PEOPLE program and their efforts to help students succeed academically and be prepared for the workforce," said VanderSanden. "The PEOPLE program is doing critical work to help increase the number of Wisconsin high school graduates who not only enroll, but graduate from UW System institutions." For more information about PEOPLE, please visit http://www.peopleprogram.wisc.edu/. As a company, AT&T has a long-standing commitment to helping advance the education of the nation's young people. In Wisconsin, AT&T has provided financial contributions to support programs like UW-Madison's PEOPLE program that help students succeed academically and in the future workforce. Nationally, AT&T has also launched its AT&T Aspire, one of the nation's largest corporate initiatives committed to helping more students graduate from high school ready for college and careers. More than 1 million students in all 50 states have been impacted since Aspire launched in 2008. AT&T has committed $350 million to Aspire through 2016.