In 2012, AT&T announced its employees planned to mentor at-risk students for at least 1 million hours by the end of 2016. AT&T is pleased to announce it has already hit the 1 million hour mark, and a full year ahead of schedule at that. Driven through its Aspire program, AT&T employees took a hands-on approach to improving the education experience of thousands of students who were risking falling behind in their studies by actively participating the Aspire Mentoring Academy.

“Helping students prepare for success in school and the workplace is essential to our nation’s future,” said AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson. “That’s why I am so proud of the thousands of AT&T employees who continue to invest their time, knowledge and experience mentoring young people across the U.S.”

AT&T employees are connected with best-in-class nonprofits that support students who will benefit the most from mentoring. Since the launch of the Aspire Mentoring Academy in the fall of 2012, more than 160,000 students in 336 cities have been mentored by AT&T employees.

A high school student drops out of class every 26 seconds in America, some 7,000 a day, totaling 1.2 million a year. AT&T and its employees want to curb that trend, and one of the best ways to do that is to mentor students, helping keep them on track to graduate.

"Mentorship should be a very honest thing where we share our experiences and our faults and our successes," Rob Weaver, AT&T Global Marketing, said. "At one time you were those people walking in those schools and those hallways, and you probably doubted yourself. These students can do anything, but the reality is they need someone to show them the way, and the Aspire Mentor Academy has been an excellent opportunity for me to do that."

For more information on how AT&T is helping change education in America, visit att.com/aspire.