The University of North Texas at Dallas (UNT Dallas) has recognized AT&T for its final contribution to continue a scholarship program that has opened doors to higher education for dozens of Dallas-area students. The students, known as AT&T Scholars, are part of an innovative program that allows exemplary students to earn college credits while in high school, giving them a faster pathway to a college degree and a successful life.
The donation, accepted by university officials last week, is part of a $1-million grant made to UNT Dallas by AT&T in 2010. Since then, 40 students – all from Early College High Schools in the Dallas Independent School District – have received scholarships to UNT Dallas through the program. AT&T Scholars are chosen based on financial need, academic success and the desire to pursue a four-year college degree.
“Without AT&T, many of these high-achieving students would not be in college today,” said Dr. John Ellis Price, president of UNT Dallas. “The AT&T Scholars program has allowed us to open the doors to new possibilities and opportunities that would otherwise have remained closed for many of these outstanding students.”
For AT&T, the scholarship program is seen as a smart investment in the next generation of leaders in North Texas.
“Investing in our communities is part of AT&T’s core values,” said Holly Reed, regional vice president of AT&T. “We’re pleased that we’ve been able to help make the dream of a college degree a reality for so many students. UNT Dallas is an important contributor to our North Texas workforce and we know that when the AT&T Scholars graduate from UNT Dallas they will be well-prepared for successful careers and to make a meaningful contribution to society.”
AT&T scholarship recipients say they will always be grateful to UNT Dallas and to AT&T for giving them a life-changing opportunity.
“The only way I can describe it is as a blessing for me and my family,” said Roland Reising, a UNT Dallas junior who will graduate in May 2014 with a degree in criminal justice. “My family just did not have the resources to make going to college possible. This scholarship has given me the opportunity to be in a stimulating academic environment where I learn from great professors who are preparing me for success when I graduate.”
Ana Hernandez became an AT&T Scholar in May 2012. She will graduate with a degree in sociology in 2014 – just two years after entering UNT Dallas. She said the AT&T scholarship gave her “a key” to unlock her love of learning.
“My high school teachers were very demanding and always pushed me to go to college,” Hernandez said. “But I didn’t dare dream about it because I was afraid that those dreams would be crushed. This scholarship has changed that. I can not only dream, this has allowed me to make it come true.”
Javier Mondragon is using the AT&T scholarship to study mathematics. He plans to become a high school math teacher before pursing an advanced degree in chemistry or engineering.
“The AT&T Scholars program and UNT Dallas have given me the opportunity to make a difference,” he said. “That is why I want to teach. I hope that I can help students know that college is something they can achieve.”
About The University of North Texas at Dallas
The University of North Texas at Dallas is a 21st century teaching institution and a component of the University of North Texas System. The University’s goal is to prepare citizens to be productive and lead in a global environment and to promote the values of virtue, civility, reasoning and accountability. For more information about the university, visit http://dallas.unt.edu.