AT&T & Compudopt Donate 110 Laptops to Georgia Foster Kids & Those Aging Out of Foster Care

Staff Report

Monday, December 18th, 2023

AT&T together with Compudopt took a step toward bridging the digital divide for 110 former and current children in the state’s foster care system today with a Christmas donation of laptops to at-risk youth.

At an event with a new non-profit Fostering Success Act, Inc., executives distributed the laptops to young adults who recently aged out of the state’s foster care system and those who are still in foster care. The laptops were funded by an AT&T donation to Compudopt and distributed by Fostering Success Act, Inc.

“At AT&T, we are committed to helping close the digital divide, and we are proud to support the Fostering Success Act and youth from Georgia’s foster care system with the technology and resources they need to thrive,” said Rich Johnson, Assistant Vice President of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, AT&T Georgia. “Through this collaboration, we are empowering young adults with the promise of tomorrow and creating pathways of success for a bright future.”

Richard L Jackson, chairman of Fostering Success Act who is also Chairman and CEO of Jackson Healthcare, said: “Foster kids and former foster kids don’t have parents who can buy them new computers, so these laptops will go a long way to help make these kids productive and successful. It will be so appreciated for years to come as it helps them to move ahead in their studies. It is a tremendous gift.”

Currently there are about 11,000 children in state foster care, and each year more than 700 children age out of Georgia’s foster care system with little support, no job skills or education prospects. The Fostering Success Act, Inc. launched this year to assist these high-risk youth who age out of state care so they can acquire technical skills or attend college – and obtain resources they need such as computers, transportation, room and board.

AT&T worked with Compudopt to provide the laptops and digital literacy resources so they may fully participate in our digital world.

These efforts are part of the AT&T Connected Learning initiative, created as part of its companywide commitment to help address the digital divide through internet accessibility, affordability and safe adoption.

“This holiday season, we are thrilled to support Fostering Success and AT&T, a collaboration to provide young adults that have aged out of the foster care system with essential technology support,” said Vonda 

Malbrough, Senior Director of Community Impact at Compudopt. “Our goal is to ensure inclusivity and equal access to digital resources for these families, recognizing technology's critical role in today's world. This initiative reflects our commitment to creating a more connected and supportive community for foster families.”

Kids who leave the foster care system are challenged youth as the vast majority face a future of poverty, addiction, unwanted pregnancy or even jail time as they have no skills or families to guide or support them in the world.

“Generous donations like this will help these kids make a life for themselves, get an education and pursue dreams no different than any young man or woman who never went into the foster care system,” said Heidi Carr, executive director of the Fostering Success Act, Inc. “A laptop brings a sense of normalcy to the lives of these kids who had very little that was normal in their younger years.”

State Senators Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta) and John Albers (R-Roswell) helped distribute the laptops to the foster kids and those who are now on their own struggling to get by. 

“By providing these laptops, former foster care youth now have the digital tools they need to thrive in the classroom and in life,” Beach said. “AT&T’s collaboration with the Fostering Success Act is a testament to its commitment to close the digital divide for these kids.”

“AT&T’s donation of laptop’s is a gamechanger for these young adults, and I am so proud this donation is happening in our community today,” Albers said.