University News

AT&T Contributes to Help WIU-QC Mentoring Program at Rock Island High School

November 29, 2012

Share |
Printer friendly version

MOLINE, IL — Western Illinois University today received a $70,000 contribution from the AT&T Foundation to support PACERS—an intensive mentoring, academic and volunteer-based program developed through school and community efforts and Western Illinois University-Quad Cities to help at-risk ninth grade students in the Rock Island School District (RISD).

"We are pleased that AT&T has renewed its generous support for the PACERS intensive mentoring, academic and volunteer-based program, which has helped many local students succeed," said WIU President Jack Thomas. "PACERS will continue to be able to deliver hands-on learning and professional development opportunities for students in our WIU-QC counselor education program, which embodies our University's core value of educational opportunity. The program will also be able to continue to provide a valuable service to at-risk high school students in the region, which supports Western's core value of social responsibility."

According to Holly Nikels, associate professor in WIU's counselor education department who works with the program, the AT&T grant has helped continue the PACERS—which stands for Positive Achievement and Creativity Equals Righteous Success—program, which was started a few years ago at Rock Island High School.

AT&T External Affairs Director Dennis Pauley said the contribution is part of AT&T's focus on education, specifically helping to prepare students for college and careers.

"We are committed to help the next generation prepare for a brighter future through our corporate commitment to high school retention and workforce readiness. At AT&T, we recognize that investing in a well-educated workforce may be the single most important step we can take to help the country remain a leader in the digital, global marketplace," Pauley said.

"We are excited and extremely grateful to AT&T for their great generosity in continuing this partnership. The program reflects the University's values and has proven to help local students succeed. This is a proud moment for all of us as we continue to support students and the region," said Vice President for Quad Cities and Planning Joe Rives.

For more information about the PACERS program, contact Nikels at (309) 762-1876 or

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations