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$25,000 AT&T Excelerator Grant to Help Women Enrtrepeneurs in Rio Grande Valley


Southwest Community Investment Corporation Receives $25,000 to Help Meet Their Goals Via Enhanced Technology Resources

San Antonio, Texas, March 3, 2006, Furthering its commitment to strengthening nonprofits that serve people of all backgrounds and needs, the AT&T Foundation — the philanthropic arm of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) — today announced that it has awarded a $25,000 AT&T Excelerator grant to the Southwest Community Investment Corporation (SCI). The company will use the award to fund the Women’s Business Resource Center of the Rio Grande Valley. The center is part of a collaboration with the U.S. Small Business Administration providing business consulting, mentoring and training opportunities to women entrepreneurs.

“Our feeling, at Southwest Community Investment, is that helping entrepreneurs grow is one of the main components to positive job creation,” said Sofia Hernandez, SCI CEO. “Over the next several years, we intend to expand our reach to other southwest border communities in order to cultivate more businesses and grow more entrepreneurs who can lead our communities to prosperity.”

“I commend the work of the Southwest Community Investment Corporation for their dedication to this region and its women entrepreneurs,” said State Representative Veronica Gonzales. “We hope that the Women’s Business Center will prove to be an invaluable resource to those in the Rio Grande Valley community for years to come.”

“When you see the work of these nonprofits and the difference they make in our communities, you are immediately reminded of the critical role that technology plays in improving the quality of life of those they serve,” says Congressman Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15) who works to improve the local area workforce through education and training.

“Technology expansion, especially for small businesses and minority-owned small businesses, is a key factor in day-to-day operations and economic development.”

“Small businesses are the heart of the Rio Grande Valley,” said State Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa. “I am pleased to see the AT&T Foundation investing in our community, and I commend them for providing some of the necessary technologies for women to pursue their road to success.”

“By providing the means for women to succeed in their personal businesses, SCI is helping to reshape the corporate structure in the Rio Grande Valley,” said Sergio Contreras, AT&T regional manager of External Affairs. “The Valley certainly has the ability to emerge as a major corporate player in the state. With the help of organizations like SCI and the support of the area’s policymakers, including Aaron Peña and Ismael Flores, the Valley is sure to grow stronger and become more prosperous in the years to come.”

AT&T Excelerator is a major philanthropic initiative that connects the nation’s neediest residents, including at-risk youth and underserved urban families, to important community resources. The program also empowers nonprofits to use technology to expand the reach of services and to heighten the impact those services have on people in the community.

The AT&T Foundation provided $6 million in 2005 Excelerator competitive grants to 513 nonprofit organizations throughout the nation. Since its inception in 2002, AT&T Excelerator has provided $33 million to more than 2,000 nonprofit organizations around the country to build stronger communities and improve lives through technology infrastructure and service enhancements.

About the AT&T Foundation
The new AT&T Foundation, the philanthropic arm of AT&T Inc., supports programs that build communities and improve access to information technologies, technology training and professional skills development. The new AT&T Foundation will provide more than $60 million in 2006 in charitable contributions, thereby placing it among the top five largest corporate foundations in the country. The new AT&T Foundation combines more than 40 years and $1.7 billion of philanthropic commitment to communities across the country.

About the New AT&T
AT&T Inc. is one of the world’s largest telecommunications holding companies and is the largest in the United States. Operating globally under the AT&T brand, AT&T companies are recognized as the leading worldwide providers of IP-based communications services to business and as leading U.S. providers of high-speed DSL Internet, local and long distance voice, and directory publishing and advertising services. AT&T Inc. holds a 60 percent ownership interest in Cingular Wireless, which is the No. 1 U.S. wireless services provider with more than 54 million wireless customers. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and AT&T products and services is available at

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