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Tiara Simms Named to Rising Future Makers Class

AT&T* Dream in Black is proud to announce its second Rising Future Makers Class. The 2022 class honors 25 students, all from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), who are making a positive impact in their communities and on their campuses.

An extension of AT&T’s Dream in Black Future Makers programRising Future Makers reflects AT&T’s continued commitment to empower diverse communities. As we work  to help bridge the digital divide, which disproportionately impacts communities of color and HBCU students, we will provide access to technology and resources that connect the students to greater possibility. 

The winning class will each receive $5,000 presented by AT&T 5G, a 5G-enabled mobile phone with one year of AT&T service, among other gifts. They also will get professional workshop opportunities, including mentoring sessions with AT&T executives aimed at growing their network and furthering their career opportunities.  

The selected honorees hail from 14 colleges and universities such as Florida A&M University, Hampton University, and North Carolina Central University and aspire to become entrepreneurs, lawyers, graphic designers, activists and more.

The AT&T Dream in Black Rising Future Makers Class of 2022:

  • Bethune-Cookman University: Don’Neisha McFadden, junior
  • Bowie State University: Jaivien Kendrick, junior
  • Delaware State University: Tamon Frisby, senior
  • Dillard University: Kalaya Me’Kenzie Jadi Sibley, senior
  • Fayetteville State University: Iyana Marie Beachem, junior
  • Fisk University: Kayla E. Willis, senior
  • Florida A&M University: Amyia White, junior; Andre McClain, junior; Skylar Kennedy Warren, junior; Makira Burns, senior; Zachary C. Bell, senior
  • Hampton University: Amber Anderson, senior; Sárah “Lee” Buckner, senior
  • Howard University: Tariah Hyland, sophomore; Mia Bennett-Jones, junior; Rayna Carter, junior; Jordyn Allen, senior; Rachel Motley, senior
  • Norfolk State University: Tiara C. Simms, senior
  • North Carolina A&T State University: Nadiya McLean, senior
  • North Carolina Central University: Christopher Johnson, sophomore
  • Prairie View A&M University: Cyrai Young, freshman; Justin Lamar Collins, sophomore; Jocelynn Poppy Johnson, 1st year graduate student
  • Xavier University of Louisiana: Nina Giddens, senior

The Dream in Black Rising Future Makers program is geared towards promoting young Black talent and ensuring they have access to the network and resources they need to realize greater possibility. The inaugural class of 2021 saw tremendous success from the program, and many have graduated to begin their careers in tech, law, health, and politics with connections made through the opportunity. Beyond the initial workshops and networking opportunities, AT&T continued to support the future makers with exposure to hands-on opportunities that would further their dreams, including broadcast segments alongside actress and content creator Tabitha Brown as well as participating in panel discussions with AT&T executives at the 2022 Essence Music Festival.

Current Rising Future Makers will participate in a development workshop available exclusively to the students, where they can learn key tips on how to personally brand and pitch themselves to executive leaders. Within the experience, the inaugural class of Rising Future Makers and the 2022 class will be invited to attend networking opportunities and provide ongoing feedback, related to the program.

“Since last year’s launch of the Rising Future Makers program, we have seen a surge in how our audience has tapped into the conversation – quadrupling the number of applications received for this class,” said Sabina Ahmed, assistant vice president, Media and Sponsorship, AT&T. “Through our collaboration with companies like Aux Cord Wars and our dedicated touchpoints at HBCUs across the country, we are excited about the continued potential of this initiative and look forward to supporting this next generation of leaders, providing them with the resources and connections they need to succeed.”

To learn more, visit AT&T Dream in Black.


Picture of Tiara C. SimmsABOUT TIARA

Tiara C. Simms is a senior Electrical Engineering major at Norfolk State University from Chicago, IL. She is currently serving as a presidential intern and a student ambassador at NSU. Her dream is to become a biomedical engineer who innovates new healthcare technology that sparks change for the Black community. Content creation is also her passion. She’s working on a podcast that will feature a wide variety of topics, from college advice to self-defense, to uplift her community.


Proudest Moment
One accomplishment that I take the most pride in is earning my black belt in 2018. I am sharing these skills with the community around me to make it a better place.

Short-/Long-Term Goals
My short-term goals include graduating with my Bachelor’s, filming my podcast, and continuing to expand my network within engineering. My long-term goals include giving more exposure to HBCUs, spreading safety awareness, and continuing to uplift and empower the Black community.

If you could collaborate with any company in the world, who would it be?
I would love to collaborate with YouTube, iHeartRadio, and other platforms to help further my content creation.