AT&T Texas Makes The Call With $40,000 Gift To UHD
By Sheryl E. Taylor
Partnering with corporate entities is just one of the many ways that the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) remains steadfast in its commitment to ensure its students’ achieve their academic dreams for future success.
AT&T Texas awarded the University a $40,000 gift as part of its Believe HoustonSM initiative (an extension of the larger company-wide initiative AT&T Believes SM), which aims to create positive change in Houston's Complete Communities. In recent years, the company launched AT&T BelievesSM in Chicago, New York, Dallas, Atlanta, New Orleans, adding Houston in 2019.
“Believe Houston’s mission is to ensure that youth in Houston’s Complete Communities have opportunities to succeed, and we are doing that by providing an opportunity for transfer students to continue education and pursue their dreams,” said Stacy Canady, Assistant Vice President, AT&T Texas. "We’re proud to work with University of Houston-Downtown to ensure this goal is fulfilled.”
This gift funds scholarships for transfer students who participate in UHD’s Accelerated Transfer Academy (ATA), which provides qualified transfer students with career development support and an enhanced transfer experience. Eleven students received substantial scholarships and a portion of this gift has been earmarked for experiential learning opportunities, such as career-relevant, community-based internships.
To qualify, students submitted essays on how their communities were impacted by COVID and how their major and eventual career would address these issues as a result of the pandemic. See the UHD students’ AT&T Thank You video.
The demographics of transfer students are vastly different than first-time-in college students. They’re usually older, support families, work full-time and have accumulated student loan debt.
“This is a really great opportunity for our transfer students who face a unique set of challenges and tend to have fewer opportunities for scholarships,” said Krysti Turnquest, Project Director of Title V Accelerated Transfer Academy, UHD Office of Institutional Effectiveness. “AT&T’s gift will go a long way to help these students accomplish their goals. We are here to do anything we can do to help these students overcome any hurdles that may stand in their way to graduating, which will ultimately change their lives and their families’ lives.”
The mission of Houston Complete Communities, launched in April 2017 as a citywide initiative to revitalize Houston’s most under-resourced neighborhoods, is to create a more equitable and prosperous city for all Houstonians by working with local stakeholders and cross-sector partners to improve designated neighborhoods through civic engagement, relationship-building with civic leaders, and programs dedicated to economic empowerment. These neighborhood communities are: Acres Home, Alief - Westwood, Fort Bend, Houston, Gulfton, Kashmere Gardens, Magnolia Park – Manchester, Near Northside, Second Ward, Sunnyside, and Third Ward.
“When I learned about Believe HoustonSM, I saw a clear alignment between AT&T’s goals in our community, and an opportunity to make a positive difference for our students,” said Jacob Lipp, Director of University Advancement, UHD Division of Advancement & University Relations. “Almost a third of UHD students make their homes in Houston’s Complete Communities, so we know that great things have been happening in these neighborhoods for a long time. We’re excited to partner with AT&T, and we’re grateful to the City of Houston and Mayor Turner for shining a bright light on these great communities and our fellow Houstonians who call them home.”
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD)—the second-largest university in Houston—has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974.
As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates more than 15,000 students; boasts more than 60,000 alumni and offers 45 bachelor’s, nine master’s degree programs and 16 fully online programs within five colleges (Marilyn Davies College of Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Public Service; Sciences & Technology; and University College).
For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranks UHD among universities across the nation for Best Online Criminal Justice Programs (No. 27 and No. 15 for Veterans) and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.
UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston and one of the lowest in Texas. U.S. News ranked the University among Top Performers on Social Mobility and a No. 1 ranking as the most diverse institution of higher education in the southern region of the U.S. The University is noted nationally as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Minority-Serving Institution and Military Friendly School. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.