North Atlanta students recently had a chance to team up with AT&T employees and participate in the AT&T/JA Worldwide Job Shadow Initiative. As a result of their participation and enthusiasm for the learning experience, AT&T Mobility president and CEO Ralph de la Vega visited North Atlanta High on Thursday, September 30, to address the students in a motivational presentation and then have lunch with the Junior Achievement students.
The AT&T/JA Worldwide Job Shadow Initiative is a joint effort between AT&T and Junior Achievement in which AT&T employees help students connect classroom learning to real life opportunities. Back in the spring, 76 students — including a number of North Atlanta business students — visited an AT&T corporate site to learn about careers and develop an understanding of the educational background and skills they will need to succeed in the workplace.
North Atlanta High School was chosen for the special visit from de la Vega for its strong interest level in the AT&T/JA Worldwide Job Shadow Initiative and high response rate of students who commented on the impact of de la Vega’s own personal story and overcoming the odds.
“I believe that education is the foundation of success and no one can take it away from you, no matter what happens,” said de la Vega. “I care deeply about the future success of our youth and greatly appreciate spending time with students and sharing my own story in hopes of inspiring them.”
As part of the job shadow initiative, students received complimentary copies of de la Vega’s book Obstacles Welcome, in which he describes his experiences as a Cuban immigrant in the United States, the importance of education and his advancement through business to become a top executive at AT&T.
“The commitment of North Atlanta High School to its students extends far beyond the classroom. We also want to see them succeed in life,” said Lorraine Bowen, North Atlanta High School International Business & Marketing Teacher. “Through the AT&T/JA Worldwide Job Shadow Initiative we are able to offer them an impactful experience that can broaden their scope of future opportunities.”
As Junior Achievement’s largest corporate job shadow initiative to date, AT&T and JA are committed to reaching 100,000 high school students with the program over five years. Since the $5.5 million job shadow initiative began in 2008, the program has reached more than 50,000 students in 206 cities.