Westside Future Fund received a $250,000 grant from AT&T to launch the Westside Storytelling Competition in conjunction with re:imagine/ATL and the At-Promise Center. The competition offers Westside youth the opportunity to learn entertainment industry skills to tell their stories. CONTRIBUTED

Video competition offers youth chance to tell their stories

AT&T launched a new initiative – Believe Atlanta to collaborate with community leaders and organizations to help tackle the chronic challenges of poverty, skills gaps, and crime in Atlanta’s Westside to help cultivate a future of opportunity and promise, according to a press release.

AT&T leaders presented a $250,000 check to the Westside Future Fund, bringing the total of AT&T contributions in the past year to more than $1 million to numerous planned projects with key community organizations that share our passion for – and commitment to – the future of Atlanta’s historic Westside.

An extension of AT&T Believes, a larger company-wide initiative designed to create positive change in local communities, Believe Atlanta is connecting AT&T employees to volunteer opportunities in four Westside neighborhoods: Vine City, English Avenue, Ashview Heights and Atlanta University Center.

In conjunction with area non-profits and organizations, AT&T is focused on improving skills development and academic achievement; increasing connectivity in the Westside neighborhoods; improving the sense of safety and security in the community; and improving access to quality, affordable health care.

The Westside Storytelling Competition provides a platform for Westside youth to share their pride in – and tell the stories of – the Westside.

“Westside youth are learning film and digital entertainment skills firsthand and, most importantly, exploring new pathways to success,” said Dave Wilkinson, President and CEO of the Atlanta Police Foundation. “The At-Promise initiative provides opportunities that help prevent and divert youth from engaging in criminal activity and drive students to achieve success. The Westside Storytelling Competition offers a creative way to empower and inspire the next generation to find their voices and connect with leaders in the entertainment industry.”

Youth participating in the creative industry program worked collaboratively to create three separate mini-documentaries as part of the Westside Storytelling Competition. Three videos are available on the competition website for the world to view and vote on their favorite story of the Westside.

The video that receives the most votes through Jan. 28 will win the competition.

The winning video will be announced at the Feb. 1 Westside Future Fund Summit, and the winning film crew will be given the opportunity to attend a guided behind-the-scenes tour of DIRECTV NOW’s Super Saturday Night with re:imagine/ATL, the At-Promise Center and AT&T.

To view the videos and vote: www.WestsideStorytellingCompetition.com.

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