TALLAHASSEE - College students will have the opportunity to learn with the state’s premier non-profit government watchdog under a new program that honors Senator Ken Plante, a longtime advocate for education and a co-founder of Florida TaxWatch.
A $25,000 contribution from AT&T will allow Florida TaxWatch to hire interns to engage with state leaders on research topics ranging from taxation and budgets to critical policy issues like education and corrections.
The program will be named “The Senator Ken Plante Memorial Internship.” Plante was a former state Senator and co-founder of Florida TaxWatch. He passed away earlier this year after a battle with ALS.
“Florida TaxWatch has worked for more than one-third of a century to improve the productivity and accountability of state government,” said Dominic M. Calabro, President and CEO of Florida TaxWatch. “This program acknowledges the history of our group by honoring my good friend Senator Ken Plante, while nurturing future leaders from our local colleges.”
“We are proud to help Florida’s future by investing in these young leaders,” said Elise Banister, AT&T Regional Vice President of Regulatory and Public Policy for Florida, Puerto Rico and USVI. “Florida TaxWatch has a rich history of producing research that helps our government run more efficiently and this program will provide incredibly valuable experience for these great students.”
Three interns from around the state will begin their work at Florida TaxWatch in January.
“There are many bright students who need that first step toward a career,” said Frank Perez-Siam, accounting major from Miami studying at Florida State University.“This opportunity will give me the chance to gain experience with the state’s top public policy researchers. I want to thank AT&T and Florida TaxWatch for this opportunity.”
“Ken would be proud to know that TaxWatch is honoring his memory with a program that will help increase public awareness of how state government works,” said Sandy Plante, the wife of the late Sen. Plante.
Florida TaxWatch will prepare a separate webpage highlighting the work of the interns throughout the year. The interns will work with TaxWatch researchers and state business and political leaders as they continue TaxWatch’s work as the state’s premier watchdog for government efficiency and taxpayer savings.
For more information, please go to www.floridataxwatch.org.
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About Philanthropy at AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its philanthropic initiatives, AT&T has a long history of supporting projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; and address community needs. In 2010, more than $148.2 million was contributed through corporate-, employee- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs.