5 Ways Businesses Can Invest in the Next Generation

This is a sponsored post on behalf of T-Mobile; all opinions are my own.
#ad Investing in the next generation is investing in the future. This post outlines five ways big businesses can make a difference in the lives of students to create a better tomorrow. #UnstoppableTogether @tmobile

As they say, students are the future. And what’s so inspiring to me is my almost high schooler, an almost middle schooler, a toddler, and a baby who is almost a toddler. I see so much with them and their friends and I get inspired daily by their capabilities. They have so much promise as children and young adults, and I know that they have a lot to offer the world. What’s really powerful is that big businesses have the power to make a significant impact on the lives of students and kids like mine to create a better tomorrow. Today, I’m sharing five ways businesses can invest in the next generation. I hope it inspires you too!

5 Ways Businesses Can Invest in the Next Generation:

1 – Partner with non-profit organizations:

Partnering with non-profit organizations is a great way for big businesses to invest in students. Since non-profits often have a deep understanding of the needs of children and families in their communities, they can provide valuable resources and support. By partnering with non-profit organizations, big businesses, like T-Mobile, can help fund programs and initiatives that benefit students, such as after-school programs, summer camps, and educational programs. This not only helps students in the short-term but also helps create a better future for everyone by investing in the next generation.

The Conexiones program, for example, is run by a non-profit organization, The League of United Latin American Citizens. This is a digital literacy program that serves Hispanic communities and continues to grow with T-Mobile’s help. Back in 2019, it was a pilot program in just two states. Now, Conexiones is currently running programs at six sites in Texas, Virginia, California, and Washington D.C. Students say that this is an opportunity to stay ahead of today’s fast-paced connected technology.

#ad Investing in the next generation is investing in the future. This post outlines five ways big businesses can make a difference in the lives of students to create a better tomorrow. #UnstoppableTogether @tmobile

2 – Support education initiatives:

One of the most impactful ways that big businesses can invest in students is by supporting education initiatives. This can include funding for schools, scholarships for students, partnerships with educational organizations, and more. By investing in education, businesses can help ensure that students have the tools and resources they need to succeed in the future.

T-Mobile is doing just that by helping to close the digital divide in education. Eligible students across the U.S. who need access to connectivity to do schoolwork can sign up for Project 10Million, a program aimed at helping to close the digital divide in education by offering free mobile hotspots, subsidized data plans and access to affordable laptops and tablets.  Additionally, supporting education can help businesses build a strong pipeline of talented and skilled workers for the future. This is key!

T-Mobile, the T-Mobile Foundation and Ashoka launched the fifth Changemaker Challenge this year, a nationwide contest that’s currently underway that gives young leaders an opportunity to take their innovative ideas for creating a more inclusive, equitable and sustainable future to the next level. Also, T-Mobile is teaming up with Prisms VR, a leading VR education technology solutions provider. They plan to transform the classroom for students across the country by giving students access to new technologies, like VR. This will also provide interactive math and science lessons designed to close the opportunity gap in STEM.

3 – Provide mentorship and internship opportunities:

Another way that businesses can invest in students is by providing mentorship and internship opportunities. This can include partnering with schools or youth organizations to offer mentorship programs or creating internship programs within the company. By providing these opportunities, businesses can help young people gain valuable skills and experience, and prepare them for future careers.

I was so inspired by a story I recently read about a project manager who is helping to create more inclusive career and educational opportunities for students. May is Asian American Pacific Islander Month (AAPI), and this month, T-Mobile is highlighting Amy’s story. As the daughter of refugee immigrants from Vietnam, she faced obstacles when it came to her education, and thus, career ambitions. Her parents sacrificed a lot for her by coming to America, and she gives back by leading a T-Mobile program for diversity in technology.

#ad Investing in the next generation is investing in the future. This post outlines five ways big businesses can make a difference in the lives of students to create a better tomorrow. #UnstoppableTogether @tmobile

Amy leads a program aimed at high school students looking for support with STEM career and education goals. As the parent of a soon-to-be high schooler, I feel this one in my soul!

The T-Mobile Explorer Prep Program follows T-Mobile’s goal of hiring diverse early career talent in STEM fields! The program provides two 8-week summer internships where students can earn a professional certificate in their field of interest while gaining on-the-job experience. There are three fields of interest: software engineers, cyber security engineers, and user experience designers. Then, after completing this program, students are eligible to apply for a full-time employment development role that unlocks tuition assistance for higher education! Amy actually was able to finally pursue her dream of obtaining both a bachelors and master’s degree this way with T-Mobile’s help, and she want’s other kids to know it’s available to them as well!

Amy is hoping that the Explorer Prep Program will expand past its select partner schools in the Seattle and Kansas City areas (close to T-Mobile’s two headquarters). Judging from its early success, Amy is optimistic that this will happen. “There are so many students that might be the first to try to go to college or who come from households that can’t afford to pay for college and are fearful of going into debt from hefty student loans,” she says. “This program is there to support them. For me, this is obviously very close to my heart. I’m living proof this can work, even if it is untraditional.”

Amy’s story touched me deeply, because she never took her parents’ sacrifices for granted. With limits to her education, she still believed in herself, worked hard to achieve goals, and found a position with a company whose values align with hers. That is powerful.

I think of my own daughter, who will start high school next year, and has been working with a math teacher who has dedicated her career to encouraging and building up middle school and high school teen girls. My daughter comes from a long line of strong women, who have achieved business success and good health, and have never taken the gifts they have received from the generations above for granted.

4 – Focus on sustainability:

Another way businesses can invest in students is by focusing on the way they can foster sustainability efforts. Students are the future, and it’s important to protect the planet they will inherit. Also, 80% consumers and employees say they’re more likely to buy from or work for companies that share their values across environmental, social, and governance (ESG) categories, so we want to create companies that align with our student’s values! T-Mobile has big goals, like being first in the U.S. wireless industry to set a science-based net-zero emissions target, achieving a 100% renewable energy goal, reducing waste, and responsibly managing the lifecycle of products. They also just signed The Climate Pledge, which is an innovative commitment Amazon co-founded to accelerate responsible climate action across all industries. It aligns T-Mobile with nearly 400 like-minded companies and organizations, such as Microsoft, Alaska Airlines, IBM, and Procter & Gamble, all of which believe investing in sustainability is key to long-term success and have vowed to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. All in all, they’re working towards a more sustainable future for our children.

#ad Investing in the next generation is investing in the future. This post outlines five ways big businesses can make a difference in the lives of students to create a better tomorrow. #UnstoppableTogether @tmobile

5 – Foster Inclusivity:

Inclusivity is a crucial aspect of any successful business. By creating a welcoming and diverse workplace, companies can attract and retain top talent, improve employee morale, and increase productivity. I love that T-Mobile fosters inclusivity in tech, by reaching out to underserved groups within the tech field, and that includes women and minorities. T-Mobile has been supporting initiatives by their employees to host Cybersecurity and Technology Career events for high school girls who might otherwise not get into STEM.

So, can you think of ways that businesses can invest in the next generation?

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