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AT&T contributes $30,000 to new TCC veterans initiative

Photo from left: Vanessa Christie, TCC Educational Foundation Board; Reynoldo Jules, AT&T; TCC President Edna Baehre-Kolovani; Mike King, Educational Foundation Board chair; Terri Thompson, College Board chair; Vince Apruzzese, AT&T; James Toscano, Educational Foundation executive director

In honor of Veterans Day, AT&T contributed $30,000 on Thursday to the Tidewater Community College Educational Foundation. This contribution is part of a $400,000 contribution the company is making to local organizations across the country that serve veterans and active-duty military personnel.

AT&T’s contribution will support a math refresher program for students preparing to take the Virginia Placement Test (VPT) in mathematics. The program is part of the STEM Fleet-Forward Initiative, a regional effort being led by TCC’s Center for Military and Veterans Education (CMVE) with a grant from the Office of Naval Research.

The goal of the STEM Fleet-Forward Initiative is to guide veterans and those transitioning out of the military into careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“Our nation’s servicemen and servicewomen – and their families – have made great sacrifices to protect our country and our freedoms, and it’s an honor to support them both at home and abroad,” said Vince Apruzzese, AT&T’s regional vice president for External Affairs and Army veteran. “This contribution is just one way we at AT&T can express our thanks this Veterans Day.”

TCC President Edna V. Baehre-Kolovani said that, nationwide, over 80 percent of incoming college students place into developmental math courses. This poses a particular problem for military-related students as these courses do not count towards a degree and deplete their GI Bill benefits.

“AT&T’s contribution will help place more military-related students on the path to STEM careers through the CMVE MathPath, a math refresher program,” she said.

Michael J. King, chair of the TCC Educational Foundation Board, said that the college prides itself on its service to military-related students, which make up about one-third of the college’s enrollment.

“We are delighted to partner with a company that values veterans the way AT&T does,” he said. “I am grateful for the company’s support of the STEM Fleet-Forward program.”

Apruzzese, Kolovani and King were joined at the event on the Virginia Beach Campus by James Toscano, executive director of the TCC Educational Foundation, Jason Feser of the Office of Naval Research, and Reynaldo Jules, an AT&T employee and Air Force reservist who currently attends Old Dominion University.

In addition, CMVE representatives previewed the resources that will be available to students via a new website.

AT&T encourages individuals to join in #ThankOurHeroes, a new social media campaign to show appreciation for servicemen and servicewomen. Users can upload messages, photos and videos showing their gratitude to veterans using #ThankOurHeroes, which AT&T and veterans’ organizations will share throughout the month of November.

To learn more about AT&T’s commitments to veterans, visit

About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T: 

AT&T is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. AT&T Aspire is AT&T’s signature philanthropic initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism, and mentoring. Through Aspire, we’ve passed the $250 million mark on our plan to invest $350 million in education from 2008-2017.

About the TCC Educational Foundation:

The Tidewater Community College Educational Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, secures philanthropic support to reduce the financial barriers TCC students encounter in pursuing their education. Donations provide funding for scholarships; expand and enhance academic and career training programs; and ensure students have access to state-of-the art facilities and equipment. Visit