On Jan. 15, AT&T held a day of mentoring at the company’s facility in Bedminster, during which 37 students from Abraham Clark High School (Roselle) met with AT&T employees from the IT, marketing, business sales, and engineering departments, who served as their mentors at the event.
The employees shared their personal and professional histories as a way to motivate the students to stay in school, go on to college, and learn how to network for jobs. They also sought to interest the students in pursuing STEM careers.
The students and mentors were then broken up into groups, each one given a specific assignment, such as designing products for email, Facebook, or mobile phones; or designing new wireless, cellphone or paid TV services for the future. Each group then made a presentation of its ideas.
According to an AT&T spokesperson, the students were very inventive. One group devised ways to make mass emails easier and more streamlined for their generation. Another group came up with possible new mobile designs to help seniors or those with disabilities. The group tasked with finding new approaches to paid TV services focused on making TV more customized to individual viewer habits, rather than modifying the AT&T network deal with more traffic.
The students also participated in a discussion on how to teach their peers not to text and drive. For example, one idea was to use apps that disable texting, such as AT&T’s app called “DriveMode.” Unfortunately, the students still observe this behavior among their peers.
The students toured the very impressive Global Network Operations Center, at the Bedminster campus. This facility monitors AT&T’s worldwide network traffic, including mobile, landline, Internet, social media and undersea-cable.
Since the GNOC is proactive in ensuring that the network maintains the highest capacity possible, it pays special attention to increased traffic due to world events. For example, the students learned how busy the GNOC was during and after the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.
Partnering with AT&T was the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, which has been working with the Borough of Roselle to run Roselle’s Youth Leadership program. This program includes educational and training classes to support youth development and leadership.
The Roselle Youth Leadership Initiative, called “I AM,” provides a diverse mix of developmental resources intended to build educational achievement and confidence. Teens are given an opportunity to help build their self-esteem by improving their lifestyles and quality of life.