Tag Archives: AT&T

Springfield Gardens teen completes All Star Code summer program

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photos courtesy of All Star Code

While most high school students were relaxing during their summer vacation, one student from Queens finished a six-week summer program with All Star Code (ASC), an organization that prepares young men of color for full-time employment in the technology field.

That student is De Andre King, 17, who lives in Springfield Gardens and will be a senior at The Urban Assembly Gateway School for Technology this September. During his sophomore year King was introduced to ASC for the first time at a job fair hosted by the technology school.

“In school they have a job fair. I was drawn to their table because of their presentation,” King said. “I applied for the program in my sophomore year. I was very passionate about it.”

Unfortunately, King was not accepted to the program on his initial application. He waited until the school held the job fair again during his junior year; this time, he was accepted.

As a nonprofit initiative, the ASC’s mission is to inspire, equip and support students in becoming creators and innovators in the technology field. They focus on increasing professional access to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education for young men of color.

“With everything that is going on today in the field of technology, I know the All Star Code program can give me the tools necessary to propel myself into the tech field,” King said. “It opens my eyes to the possibilities in the tech field.”

As a sponsor of the ASC program, AT&T believes in their work and helps support the program.

“We awarded All Star Code a $100,000 AT&T Aspire Grant to support students to graduate high school, preparing them for college or to enter the workforce,” said Marissa Shorenstein, AT&T New York president. “We believe in the mission of the program and commitment to introduce high school students to STEM and insure the future workforce. In addition to providing them with money, we provide mentorship for students.”

During the six-week program, King and the other students were tasked with completing complex projects using different coding managers. The group also got to make site visits to the offices of many tech giants including Google, Dropbox, YouTube and Yelp.

ASC Graduation

For their final project, King and his group created their very own app. Their “Novus Application” was designed to allow students to have all of their academic and non-academic information all in one platform and while on the go.

“Novus allows for better communication between students and schooling,” King said. “You can get information on school teams, grades and more. Sometimes it is hard to access information as student through the school.”

King believes the ASC program has taught him more than just coding and creating computer programs.

“One thing that sticks out to me is accepting that failure is in the process of growth. From there you can learn and improve,” King said. “Sometimes it is hard to admit or acknowledge failures. It really humbled me and taught me that it’s okay to fail. In each trial you will encounter failures.”


Corona Plaza becomes first public plaza in Queens with free Wi-Fi

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras' office

Visitors to Corona Plaza this summer will be able to surf the net while enjoying some sun.

Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras announced Monday morning that Corona Plaza, located on Roosevelt Avenue between National and 104th streets, will be the first plaza in Queens to offer residents and visitors free WiFi, along with two AT&T StreetCharge stations.

This service is provided by the Neighborhood Plaza Partnership, a citywide program to help plazas flourish in high-need communities.

“Corona Plaza is a booming community space deserving of all the amenities. I am thrilled to have these free services that will increase Internet access and eliminate the digital divide for thousands of people in this neighborhood,” Ferreras said.

Sky-Packets, which brings high-speed Wi-Fi services to about 30 neighborhoods throughout the city, will provide the Wi-Fi service at the plaza. Corona Plaza’s service will accommodate several hundred users at any given time.

AT&T has also donated the two solar-powered mobile charging stations to Corona Plaza for the summer and each unit can charge up to six phones, tablets or other wireless devices.

“The new tech amenities at Corona Plaza are another milestone in the transformation of this former street space into an even more inviting destination for residents and visitors alike,” said DOT Queens Borough Commissioner Nicole Garcia.

Before 2012, Corona Plaza was a busy area filled with trucks and traffic, with no open space. After the Queens Economic Development Corporation (EDC) partnered with the Queens Museum, Ferreras and other local groups, the plaza became an open public space allowing residents and visitors to sit down and relax.

Corona Plaza is now one of 70 DOT pedestrian plazas throughout New York City and on average about 20,000 people go through the subway station by the plaza every day.

“In many parts of the city, free Wi-Fi and charging stations are now expected amenities, while in high-need areas they’re a luxury. Bringing this service to Corona Plaza is one of several ways in which we work to ensure that clean, beautiful, vibrant public spaces flourish in every kind of community,” said Laura Hansen, managing director of Neighborhood Plaza Partnership, a program of The Horticultural Society.


Goldfeder: Cell phone providers need to stay connected

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

In south Queens, one local leader wants the lines of communication open in the event of another superstorm.

After Sandy, thousands of the region’s residents were left without a lifeline for weeks, some for months – power was out, and cable and land-line service was gone as was cell reception.

Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder has hopes that cell phone service providers, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint, can build stronger cell towers and infrastructure throughout the region that will withstand the impact of any future weather disasters.

He will meet with Verizon and AT&T on Thursday to discuss upgrades and changes made thus far in preparation for another storm.

“Our inability to communicate via cell phone compounded the many issues brought on by Sandy,” Goldfeder said. “Communication is vital during a disaster.”

During the superstorm, the severe winds and flooding knocked out many cell towers.

“We cannot wait for another disaster to take action,” Goldfeder said. “Every company has a responsibility to their customers to invest in their infrastructure and towers to ensure that service will remain in place during our next potential disaster.”



Free solar phone charging stations coming to Queens

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of AT&T


The dreaded low-battery warning—we’ve all seen it. Thanks to AT&T, Queens residents will be able to re-charge their phones, tablets and other mobile devices at solar mobile charging stations, free of charge.

Located at Rockaway Beach, Clearview Golf Course and Socrates Sculpture Park, the charging units work day and night, even when the sun isn’t out. Three monocrystaline solar panels store the sun’s energy to charge up powerful internal batteries to keep the stations working in the shade.

In light of the power outages after  Sandy that left New Yorkers disconnected, AT&T teamed up with solar technology company Goal Zero and Brooklyn-based design firm Pensa to create a more reliable power source.

“We created Street Charge with community and public spaces in mind,” said Mark Prommel, Creative Director of Pensa. “It provides an elegant, durable and powerful off the grid charging solution. Our design pays homage to the beauty of clean, renewable solar power with its solar petals extended towards the sun.”

Between now and the end of summer, a total of 25 mobile charging stations will go live in all five of the city’s boroughs.

For a full list of dates and locations of each AT&T Street Charge station, visit www.att.com/attstreetcharge.



Celebrity meets and greets Queens biz owners

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of AT&T

Celebrity Bill Rancic attended AT&T’s business roundtable in Queens last week.

Rancic, who is also an entrepreneur and bestselling author, appeared with AT&T experts to meet with about 30 Queens small business owners, hailing from across the borough, to offer tips and discuss challenges and rewards of powering your own small business effort.

Jack Friedman, executive director of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, stopped by to meet and greet small business owners and welcome Rancic to the borough.

AT&T gives back to New York City students

| aaltman@queenscourier.com


Looks like they’ll be getting an upgrade.

AT&T employees recently presented a check for $110,000 to Junior Achievement of New York (JA New York), a group that works to proliferate financial literacy and entrepreneurship education among New York City students.

This contribution, made annually as a combined effort from more than 300 AT&T employees since 2009, helps promote the longevity of JA’s programs.

JA New York is a non-profit organization that provides knowledge and skill-building tools to young people as well as connecting corporate and community volunteers with students through in-class activities, after-school programs and job shadowing.

“I can think of only a few organizations that are truly accomplished at inspiring and preparing young people for the real world – and Junior Achievement is one of them,” said Principal Gilberto Vega, Academy of Finance and Enterprise. “This is only possible through the work and dedication of energetic business volunteers, like AT&T, who serve as role models and share their knowledge and expertise.”

The check was presented by AT&T at the Academy of Finance and Enterprise in Long Island City on March 22 to several current students.