AT&T funds business workshops for Gibbs and Lakewood High School entrepreneurs

L-R, Patricia Wright, Pinellas County Schools area superintendent; Leah McRae, City of St. Petersburg director of education and community engagement; Ed Narain, AT&T regional director; Mayor Rick Kriseman; Edward Lane, Lakewood High assistant principal; Bob Byelick, St. Pete Promise board member; Michael Grego, Pinellas County Schools superintendent; Reuben C. Hepburn, Gibbs High School principal.


ST. PETERSBURG – As many as 200 young entrepreneurs from Gibbs and Lakewood High Schools will have an opportunity to learn how to make their business and technology ideas come to life through a $25,000 AT&T contribution to the Pinellas Education Foundation’s Next Generation Entrepreneurs and Next Generation Tech programs this coming school year.

The $25,000 investment by AT&T will allow the Pinellas Education Foundation to offer workshops to the students from Gibbs and Lakewood High that will give them the knowledge and business tools to take their ideas and turn them into real-world products and services.

The Foundation created the Next Generation Entrepreneurs and Next Generation Tech programs, part of the Ford Next Generation Learning Program, to introduce high school juniors and seniors to the real world of business and product and service development, software design, and what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

The AT&T funded workshops will involve intensive experiences in creating a business model, mentoring by business professionals, marketing products and services, and developing business plans.  Those plans are ultimately submitted to a panel of expert judges as students compete for tens of thousands of dollars to fully develop their products and services.

“Gaining hands-on experience while being mentored by business professionals provides students with the necessary tools to achieve personal success,” said Ed Narain, AT&T Florida Area Director. “This program provides the foundation necessary for our students to become and remain competitive in an increasingly global marketplace.”

 Mayor Rick Kriseman expressed his appreciation to AT&T’s investment in the young people of St. Petersburg.

“The knowledge they will receive through this program will ultimately translate to new start-up companies being developed right here in St. Petersburg, which means better careers and better jobs which are the lifeblood of a thriving community,” said Kriseman on Monday at Gibbs High School.

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