Empowering tech’s next generation at 2016 ESSENCE Festival

By: Jessica Thorpe
Expanding Verizon Innovative Learning program offers minority middle school boys brighter futures
Empowering tech’s next generation at 2016 ESSENCE Festival

For the fifth consecutive year, Verizon is proud to partner with ESSENCE Music Festival, the largest celebration of African-American music and culture. This year, we’re showcasing the amazing ways our Better Network is building a better tomorrow at the intersection of entertainment, technology and community service. Verizon is using technology to create brighter futures for people in traditionally underserved communities.

Inspiring the leaders of today and tomorrow

We are making our Corporate Social Responsibility efforts the center of our ESSENCE experience and highlighting Verizon Innovative Learning program for minority males – the first-of its-kind two year program that gives minority boys in middle school access to STEM education and mentorship through a partnership with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Middle school boys from Jackson, MS and Greensboro, NC in the program will join us throughout the weekend and take in the cultural and educational experiences the festival has to offer. They will also be a key part of the Verizon experience by sharing their journey through Verizon Innovative Learning program for minority males when they take the main stage during Saturday night’s concert at the Superdome for an unforgettable performance.

Join the party

From July 1st to 3rd in New Orleans, we will be celebrating these students and their accomplishments in Verizon’s interactive booth, located in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Among other things, the booth will feature:   

  • Verizon Virtual Reality Free Throw Experience: A cutting-edge VR challenge where fans shoot to raise funds for schools
  • Biometric Charging Stations: Use your thumbprint to securely store and charge your devices
  • Access List: Register for the Access List to win prizes like ticket upgrades, autographed swag and the grand prize winner will be awarded a state-of-the art computer lab for their local school district
  • Guest Appearances: Meet and greet an array of headlining artists, entrepreneurs, actors, athletes and DJs that will entertain and inspire you

Visitors to the booth will also be able to see and leave messages of encouragement, inspiration and motivation for the next generation of leaders on Verizon’s Digital Wall. Messages tagged with #VerizonInspires on Twitter will be displayed on the Wall.