TIFFIN, OH — The AT&T Foundation presented a $10,000 contribution on Monday to the Year Thirteen, a program providing high school seniors with mentoring and resources to ensure high school success and help them attain post-secondary career goals.
The contribution will help fund a part-time director position for the program, which will launch this fall with the Tiffin Columbian High School graduating class of 2019.
Education and student success are a cornerstone of AT&T’s community initiatives. Since 2012, AT&T employees have provided more than 1.6 million hours of mentoring to students, and its AT&T Aspire initiative has committed more than $400 million since 2008 to promote student success in school and beyond.
“We are very proud to support this new program for students in Tiffin,” said Nicolette Jaworski, AT&T’s Director of External Affairs for Cleveland and Northwest Ohio. “It aligns perfectly with our desire to see more students be successful.”
The program was modeled after the successful Presidential Pathways initiative started at Marion City Schools under the current superintendent of Tiffin City Schools, Gary Barber.
“Much like the Presidential Pathways program, the Year Thirteen will allow us to build and leverage relationships within the community, keep our talent local, and focus on workforce development by putting in place a dynamic system aligned with our community’s needs,” Barber said. “It will also be a measuring stick for our school system.”
The program focuses on eight key areas designed to promote student success leading up to and following graduation. These areas are: high school success, relationship building, career exploration, career success, job skills, work skills, and community engagement.
All students in their senior year at Tiffin Columbian High School will be connected with a counselor that will check in with them periodically throughout the school year and the year following their graduation to promote the student’s success in university, vocational school, or entering the workforce.
Several organizations have partnered to participate in the program including: Tiffin City Schools, Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Technology Centers, Tiffin University, Heidelberg University, Terra State Community College, Seneca County Department of Job & Family Services, Family, Adult & Children First Council, and the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC).
SIEDC facilitated the grant process, citing a workforce gap as a key county-wide concern. “Unemployment is consistently low, and the biggest pipeline of talent is our educational system – K12 and higher education,” SIEDC President and CEO David Zak said.
“Improving college completion and preparing high school students for successful careers is, therefore, a top priority, as the workforce needs are at all skill and education levels.”