Bell Atlantic and Urban League Partner to Provide Summer
Jobs for Westchester Students
A Commitment to Help Students Advance
July 30, 1998
NEW YORK -- There's no summer break this year for Kenyatta Williams.
The college honors student is learning about the world of
Williams is one of 17 Westchester County high school and college students
who have been hired by Bell Atlantic as summer interns for a variety of
technical, clerical and managerial jobs in Westchester and Manhattan.
Williams is working as a desk foreman in Port Chester, keeping statistics
on installations and repairs and assisting technicians in the field with office
records. He was hired through the Black Scholars program, which is
sponsored by the Westchester County chapter of the National Urban
League. The program recognizes African-American students from
Westchester who have attained a B average or better in school.
"Working at Bell Atlantic this summer has opened my eyes," said Williams,
who will be a sophomore this fall at the State University of New York at
Stony Brook on Long Island. "While many people see only the end result
of a job, I've experienced first-hand the hard work that goes into a
particular project. I've learned concepts such as teamwork,
communications, customer service and diligence.
"I'm doing real work for real pay. It's a great feeling to know that your
work in the classroom pays off in other areas," said Williams, a West
In this first year of the partnership, the Westchester students are working in
jobs ranging from administrative assistant and operator to foreman and
"The kids in this program have demonstrated hard work, a desire to
achieve and good old 'stick-to-it-iveness'," said Ernest Prince, president of
the Urban League of Westchester. "As part of our commitment to help
these students advance, we partnered with Bell Atlantic to provide
summer jobs that will help them develop skills that will last a lifetime. Our
intent is to convince children that achievement does matter. It's important
for these young people to see that hard work will result in expanded
employment and career opportunities."
Jim Joedecke, Bell Atlantic vice president and general manager for
Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties, said, "The skills and
experience students gain during the summer are invaluable. When they
finish their education, they will be familiar with our industry and may even
consider working for Bell Atlantic. In addition, the summer jobs program
provides Bell Atlantic with dependable people to assist with our heavy
summer work load and while our regular employees are on vacation,"
"The program is a demonstration of our commitment to the people and
neighborhoods we serve, and is typical of our firm belief that we must give
something back -- in this case, jobs for youth -- to our communities."
Long-time Bell Atlantic employees enjoy working side-by-side with the
students during the summer. "Many of our regular employees find it very
rewarding to teach the basics of our business to young people," Joedecke
Bell Atlantic plans to survey the interns at the end of the summer to gauge
their opinions of the work they did and the experience they gained, and to
ask for suggestions for future summer programs.
"One of our goals," said Prince of the Urban League, "is to expand the
program to other Westchester-area companies. I would invite those
companies to follow Bell Atlantic's lead in helping to develop our youth
and providing opportunities for these bright kids."
The Urban League of Westchester County has served the minority and
disadvantaged for over 80 years, and is Westchester's premier social
service and civil rights organization.
Bell Atlantic -- formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX --
is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry.
With more than 41 million telephone access lines and more than seven
million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier
providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market leaders in
wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory
information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest
investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations
and investments in 23 countries.