AT&T Believes Overview

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AT&T Believes Overview

AT&T Believes is an initiative that was officially started in September 2018. The initiative has spread to over 20 U.S. cities. Funding for these programs is mainly provided by AT&T and AT&T Foundation. Below is an overview of AT&T Believes covering its genesis, evolution, key programs, non-profit or corporate partners, funding, geographic reach, impact and press coverage.


  • AT&T Believes was founded in Chicago in September 2018 by company employees to focus on supporting local communities.
  • The project was started by AT&T staff based in Chicago as AT&T Believe Chicago.
  • Cedric Wouldfolk, an AT&T technician, started supporting a local boxing club which strives to "get kids off the street" by teaching them boxing, as well as, teaching them skills in tackling confrontation. Cedric did this, as way of doing his part in stopping gun violence in his community, after his son got shot.
  • Additionally, Cedric got his colleagues to join in the fight against gun violence. These efforts served as key inspirations behind the development of AT&T's Believe Chicago.
  • John Donovan, CEO of AT&T's communications business got interested in starting an initiative that would be geared at supporting its employees, local non-profits and other stakeholders in lifting the lives of the communities in which they serve.
  • The program started with first identifying the unique problem within Chicago — gun violence. Once the key problem was identified, the company identified 19 communities within Chicago which would benefit from the program. These neighborhoods represented 54 percent of gun related shootings in the city of Chicago. These were Austin, Englewood, New City, South Chicago, North Lawndale, Chatham, Gage Park, Roseland, South Shore, Washington Park, West Englewood, West Garfield Park, South Lawndale, Auburn Gresham, Chicago Lawn, Humboldt Park, Greater Grand Crossing, East Garfield Park and Lower West Side (Pilsen).


  • After the initial launch of Believe Chicago, the initiative went on to contribute over $2 million to various Chicago-based charities that ran sustainable programs geared at reducing gun violence and unemployment. Additionally, AT&T hired over 400 employees from the 19 neighborhoods that were covered by Believe Chicago.
  • On March 15, 2019, AT&T Believe Chicago produced and aired a documentary titled "Beacons of Hope — Stories of Strength from Chicago." This documentary was based on the lives of Chicagoans who were doing various activities aimed at stopping gun violence and assisting people to get jobs.
  • Believe Chicago's team developed an online skills readiness learning platform (AT&T Learn) aimed at teaching prospective employees and other beneficiaries foundational skill like resume writing, presentation skills, as well as, other advanced technology courses.
  • From the initial Believe Chicago, AT&T has replicated the project to over 20 cities within the US.

Key Programs

Non-profit or Corporate Partners


  • It appears that most of the funding provided to AT&T Believes initiative is from AT&T and the AT&T Foundation. However, funding has also been received by Telecom Pioneers (this is "an AT&T-supported volunteer organization")

Geographic Reach


  • AT&T's staff have donated over 60,000 hours in doing volunteer work in over 400 Believes events across the US.
  • Believe Atlanta has offered over $1 million to various community organizations that are focused on solving various issues in Atlanta's Westside.
  • Believe Los Angeles has donated over $1.6 million to various non-profits that focus on education, entertainment and digital media employment opportunities, career readiness programs, and workforce development.
  • Believe Houston's initiative has contributed over $1 million to several Houston based non-profits working in the mentorship and educational outreach programs.
  • By March 2019, Believe Chicago's work has resulted in hiring of over 500 employees from Chicago neighborhoods, over $3 million donated to organization working in Believe Chicago neighborhoods, more than 800 AT&T employees volunteering in Believe Chicago events, and over 60 events where hosted in Chicago.
  • By the end of December 2019, Believe Chicago's achievements included: contributing over $6 million (from AT&T and AT&T Foundation) to over 100 local organizations (since quarter 3 of 2017), over 1,100 employees had volunteered at 85 functions (since January 2018), opened an AT&T-owned retail store in Englewood, assisted 40 interns from Believe Chicago at AT&T, and provided of 1,000 AT&T employee mentoring hours to various youth from Believe Chicago neighborhoods among other achievement.
  • Believe New Orleans has contributed over $250,000 to several area-based non-profits that are focused on promoting entrepreneurship and innovation, academic achievement and skills development, and neighborhood beautification.
  • AT&T through its Believe Philly initiative has donated $30,000 to both MenzFit and ODAAT. The contribution was geared at supporting the two non-profits' work in offering assistance to low-income individuals and families with Philadelphia.
  • Believe Twin Cities has offered $100,000 to various local non-profits in support of their programs designed to assist homeless individuals and families within Minneapolis and St. Paul.
  • Believe Albuquerque contributed $136,000 to a number of organizations that focus on youth related programs in Albuquerque.
  • AT&T was ranked number 23 on America's Most JUST Companies awards in 2019. This ranking was supported by the company's Believes program. The awards team was impressed by AT&T's achievements including: employees volunteering over 1.5 million hours in 2018, employees donating over $31 million to more than 30,000 nonprofits globally and hiring of over 20,000 veterans.
  • Believe Tennessee has contributed $150,000 towards the enhancement of post-secondary education. The money was distributed among TCAT's 27 locations and 13 community colleges in Tennessee.
  • Believe St. Louis program donated over $1 million to several non-profits based in St. Louis Promise Zone and similar locations. The program aims at providing "youth with new pathways to success."
  • Believe Kansas City committed over $300,000 to Kansas and Missouri based non-profit organizations that focus on youth mental health programs.
  • Believe the 'Burgh's initiative has provided over $315,000 to various local organizations focused on tackling youth problems within Pittsburgh. Additionally, the AT&T employees together with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank provided over 1,000 meal kits to be distributed to local youths "over weekends and during breaks."
  • Believe Denver donated $250,000 to various local based organizations that focus on prevention of youth suicide and promotion of awareness of youth issues in Colorado.
  • Believe Arkansas committed $100,000 to local non-profits that are geared at tackling food insecurity and hunger in Arkansas.
  • Believe Cleveland committed over $350,000 to various local organizations that promote technology-based learning and digital literacy initiatives in Cleveland. Also, the company strives to roll-out 5G mobile network in Cleveland in early 2020.

Overview of Articles about AT&T Believes

1. AT&T’s ‘Believe TN’ campaign supports TCAT.

  • This article was published in The Crossville Chronicle on January 9, 2020.
  • The article discusses AT$T's Believe TennesseeSM's $,3000 donation to the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) in Crossville. The donation is part of a wider $150,000 contribution to the Tennessee Board of Regent towards the funding of 27 locations of the TCAT. Each of these locations will receive a donation of up to $3,000.
  • The contribution to TCAT will enable the organization to procure "new networking setups used to teach infrastructure design, security and planning, and to practice implementing and protecting networks and operating plans." Also, the funding will promote "student emergency funds" in 13 community colleges across the state of Tennessee.
  • This article is positive in nature as several politicians and the President of the TCAT spoke positively about the initiative.
  • The Crossville Chronicle is a local publication and serves as the paper of record for the Cumberland County since its inception in 1886.
  • The Crossvillle Chronicle is a newspaper.

2. AT&T launches ‘Believe Louisville’ initiative to improve communities.

  • This article was posted in WAVE 3 News' website on August 13, 2019.
  • The article delves into the launch of AT&T's Believe Louisville. Believe Louisville was launched as part of the wider AT&T Believes initiative which has reached over 20 cities across the United States.
  • Believe Louisville will have four main areas of focus: "education and job skills in at-risk Louisville neighborhoods; support for Louisville’s homeless population, felony expungement and community engagement through employee volunteerism."
  • The initiative launched with a total funding of total of $197,500 from both the AT&T and AT&T Foundation.
  • One of the initial collaborators of the effort is Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), which is a nonprofit that which assists high school students to successfully transition to college or other alternative career paths.
  • The article is neutral in nature.
  • WAVE 3 News is a local television station serving Louisville, Kentucky.

3. AT&T launches ‘Believe Milwaukee’ initiative to fight hunger.

  • This article was posted on Fox6 News' website on November 19, 2020.
  • The article focuses on the launch of AT&T's Believe Milwaukee. The project aims at working with community leaders and utilizing "AT&T’s local assets, including financial contributions and employee volunteers, to help combat hunger and improve the health of Milwaukee neighborhoods."
  • During the launch, about 170 AT&T employees prepared over 20,000 high-nutrient meals that were to be donated to The Salvation Army’s food pantries in Milwaukee. The organization would then distribute the meals to people facing starvation in Milwaukee.
  • Also, the article mentioned Believe Milwaukee's donation of nearly $150,000 that would be distributed to four non-profits in Milwaukee to tackle hunger within the city. These non-profits include: The Salvation Army of Milwaukee County, We Got This, Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin and Friedens Community Ministries.
  • The article is positive based on the feedback provided by local state representatives that graced the event.
  • Fox6 News is a local television station covering Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

4. AT&T Foundation gives $300K to local nonprofits to help children realize their dreams.

5. AT&T Believe Las Vegas Initiative aims to help homeless youth in Las Vegas.

  • This article was posted in KTNV Las Vegas Channel 13 Action News on June 24, 2019.
  • The article touches on AT&T's Believe Las Vegas initiative's launch. This event was unusual in that it focused on motivational presentations instead of the usual corporate and dignitaries parade.
  • The initiative aims at instilling a belief and inspiring homeless youth that they "can transition away from being a homeless youth and be a successful adult.
  • Through the launch, AT&T donated $281,000 to local non-profits. Specifically, HELP of Southern Nevada received $213,500, Legal Aid of Southern Nevada received $37,500, and the Las Vegas Courtyard Homeless Resource Center received $30,000.
  • The article is positive as it highlighted the positive response that the initiative received from its prospective beneficiaries.
  • KTNV Las Vegas Channel 13 Action News is a local television station based in Las Vegas, Nevada.