Job Readiness through Teen Zone

Economic Development and Quality of Life for People and Communities
Research Year: 

Nearly 4,000 AT&T employees live and work in Arizona. Employees in the telecommunications industry work almost around the clock, causing both personal and family stress. These stressors combined with the issues and stresses of raising and caring for a teen provide unique challenges: How do you help older children develop skills that will enable them to be productive employees in a fast-changing economic/technological environment? How do you help young people develop into capable, contributing citizens in our global society?

Description of Action: 

The AT&T 4-H Teen Zone program targets middle and high schools in eastern Maricopa County communities that are close to the AT&T worksites, where AT&T employees reside. The program is managed through the 4-H Youth Development program in the Maricopa County Cooperative Extension. The goal is to help youth learn workforce preparation, leadership and communication skills. Mentors play integral part in teaching and learning how to plan and develop programs, and older teens have the opportunity to participate as teen teachers and leaders, developing skills and abilities in leadership while presenting positive role models to younger participants. Programming takes place once a week after school at eight different school locations. All teen educators and peer mentors participate in leadership and curriculum training. All participants have the opportunity to participate in monthly weekend field trips, community service opportunities, guest speakers, and job-shadowing experiences.


Twenty-five teens have secured gainful part-time employment since participating in AT&T 4-H Teen Zone; 100 percent of the participants increased their abilities in interview techniques; and 55 percent developed and created their own resumes. The Teen Zone teens made a big impact in community service participation this year collecting nearly 430 pounds of food for Trick or Treat so Others Can Eat food drive and collecting and distributing nearly 300 hygiene products which were donated to shelters and families in need in Maricopa County.

Funding Agencies: 

AT&T Family Care Development Fund

Conact Name: 
Jolie Ogg Graybill
Contact E-mail: 
Contact Address: 

Maricopa County Cooperative Extension

4341 E. Broadway Road

Phoenix, AZ 85040-8807

Tel.: (602) 470-8086, FAX: (602) 470-8092