On Tuesday, November 29, City Year Baton Rouge hosted its fourth annual Executives for Education Breakfast with key note speaker Sonia Perez, AT&T Louisiana President. This annual corporate leadership event celebrates champions leaders from partner businesses and organizations across Baton Rouge, as well as introduces City Year's mission to community members who are joining in our effort to support students in their journey to graduation. This year, the program highlighted City Year Baton Rouge's new partnership with AT&T Louisiana, as AmeriCorps members from the AT&T Aspire Team at Broadmoor High School opened the program sharing significant moments of service at their school.

AmeriCorps member Jasmine Evans shared about the success of her teacher partnership with Mrs. Amber LaCour in their ninth grade Algebra 1 classroom. "When we realized that we'd be working together," Jasmine beamed, "Mrs. LaCour saw me coming down the hallway and started yelling in excitement because I was going to be in her room. Our energetic personalities were united as soon as I reached her door, and this instant mutual appreciation has made our partnership amazing so far." AmeriCorps Members Trey Fluellen and Katy Turner both shared about their own significant moments serving at this first year partner school. Trey added, "We have dived into this school head first and become a part of the Broadmoor family."

Sonia Perez then took the stage to discuss the importance of diversity in the workplace. 

According to the Harvard Business Review, "In numerous studies, diversity — both inherent (e.g., race, gender) and acquired (experience, cultural background) — is associated with business success," highlighting that "simply making a team more diverse is not necessarily enough to see the benefits. Diverse teams must find ways to work together productively, and often the best ways of working may seem counterintuitive." On Tuesday morning, Sonia related the importance of diversity to AT&T's powerhouse work model. Sonia shared, "By harnassing and leveraging our differences and similarities, we work better as a team to serve you, our customers." 

Sonia is the first woman to serve as President-AT&T Louisiana, and being highly active in the community remains a priority for her. She currently serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees of Xavier University of Louisiana and also holds positions as chair-elect of Louisiana’s Business Roundtable, The Committee of 100; and as Treasurer of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry. Additionally, she has had the distinction of being appointed by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards as Chair of his Economic Development Transition Team and to the Workforce Investment Council.

"Being here with you all," Sonia said, "I am extremely optimistic for the future we will build for our students."

The belief in the potential of young people is what motivates both City Year and AT&T to build a stronger educational landscape for all students. The partnership between has just begun, but the shared foundational value has united the two organizations and motivates us all to #makebetterhappen. 

To learn more about the new AT&T partnership with City Year Baton Rouge, check out this national blog post

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