AT&T Honors 25 Dream in Black Rising Future Makers

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AT&T is celebrating the Top 25 honorees from its inaugural Dream in Black Rising Future Makers class which recognizes students currently attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) who are making a positive impact within their communities and campuses.

This initiative continues AT&T’s ongoing commitment to empower future leaders and dedicate resources toward initiatives that foster economic growth and innovation within this educational community.


This program is an extension of AT&T’s Dream in Black Future Maker program – an annual selection of leaders, innovators and activists who are dreaming big and making a difference. The selected honorees hail from colleges and universities such as Howard University and North Carolina A&T who aspire to become future professionals such as state senators, news reporters, entrepreneurs or to complete their education with PhD degrees. These students were selected for not only their previously notable accomplishments but also their planned future endeavors.

Along with $5,000 presented by AT&T 5G, the winners will also receive a suite of technology tools.

The AT&T Dream in Black Rising Future Makers Class of 2021 includes:

Amari Matthews – Clark Atlanta University, Junior
Carrington Whigham – Florida A&M University, Senior
Chazriq Clarke – Florida A&M University, Senior
Christian White – Kentucky State University, Junior
Corey Neal – North Carolina Central University, Junior
Devan Vilfrard – Florida A&M University, Senior
Gabrielle Stewart – Howard University, Senior
Jasmine Franklin – Grambling State University, Senior
Jeremiah Smith – North Carolina A&T State University, Freshman
Joshua Burrell – Hampton University, Senior
Joshua Glover – North Carolina A&T State University, Freshman
Joshua Suiter – North Carolina A&T State University, Senior
Kawika Smith – Morehouse College, Junior
Kayla Austin – Howard University, Freshman
Kaylin Strahan – Clark Atlanta University, Sophomore
Kennedy Buck – Hampton University, Senior
Kristen Reid – Oakwood University, Senior
Leyha Williams – Howard University, Sophomore
Mekaya Williams-Franklin – Bowie State University, Sophomore
Mikayla Massey – North Carolina A&T State University, Junior
Rollin Jackson, Jr. – Morehouse College, Freshman
Te’Daija Davenport – South Carolina State University, Senior
Terrance Eddy – Bethune-Cookman University, Senior
Trajan Baker – Hampton University, Junior
Tyren Walker – Bowie State University, Senior

How is AT&T supporting these 25 Future Makers?

Each Dream in Black Rising Future Maker will receive $5,000 presented by AT&T 5G, AT&T technology products and services, and access to VIP advocates like current HBCU Student and NBA Champion J.R. Smith and Actress, Entrepreneur La La Anthony to help support them on their journey to create history-making change. In addition, all 25 will be recognized with a special event held in Greensboro, NC on Dec. 11 with special appearances by J.R., La La, and television personality and actor Terrence J.

Beyond this larger celebration, there will be four more intimate events held at AT&T retail locations across the country for honorees to pick up their prizing package, enjoy an afternoon of fanfare with their communities and loved ones, speeches from AT&T executives, a live DJ, dance performance, and more.

“The excellence in the submissions we received from around the country speak to the power and impact that HBCU students are already having and that we seek to amplify through Dream In Black initiatives,” said Angela Burgin, Director of Marketing and Special Experiences, AT&T. “We are thrilled to recognize dynamic HBCU students for their amazing accomplishments and are excited to enable greater possibilities as they rise and endeavor to become leaders in their communities.”

AT&T Dream in Black views the world and creativity through an afro-futuristic lens that is rooted in AT&T’s technology and innovation, which connects them to greater possibilities.