Who is making history today? Who will tomorrow? Our #DreamInBlack campaign explored this question for Black History Month, highlighting Black dreamers, creators and future makers.  They are doctors, philanthropists, activists and essential workers who inspire us, give back to their communities and demonstrate what it means to make an impact.

Among the many Future Makers stands Cyrus Robinson, Chicago-based AT&T technician. Growing up, he tinkered with radios, televisions and computers – it only seemed natural to turn his curiosity into a career. Seven years since his first day, however, Cyrus realizes it’s not just the day-to-day duties that motivate him.

“I always enjoy helping others. It’s a real perk to connect everyone and bring a smile to someone’s face. Experiencing that joy is something I always had a fondness for.”

Facing New Challenges

When the pandemic began, it was a tough adjustment for Cyrus. He enjoyed getting to know customers – shaking their hands while showing how and why their network and devices operated the way they did.

“It’s been a task to wear a mask and social distance, but we still get it done. Nowadays, parents are stressed because they’re working from home while their kids are learning virtually. They need the internet to go to school. At the end of the day, it’s rewarding to connect them back to the world.

“This pandemic taught us a lot, and I feel blessed to say I can still go out and help someone else. I believe that.”

Why did we highlight Cyrus among the many AT&T technicians who share his sentiment? #LifeAtATT is not just about what happens on the job – our people live by our values 24/7, no matter where they are or what they do. Cyrus, a frequent volunteer, is adamant about speaking through his actions.

“It’s not just the right thing, it’s my duty to give back when I can. I work closely with my church to help feed and house the homeless. Even if it’s just for a day, we open our church homes so they have somewhere to stay warm and eat. I’m fortunate enough to take care of my family but there are so many others who struggle.”

Cyrus is also the first to raise his hand when someone on his team needs help with a challenging problem or new idea. His manager was quick to notice. That enthusiasm is why she encouraged him to share his personal experience for the #DreamInBlack commercial, which was aired on national television. Among many standout employee applicants, Cyrus’ energy shined.

Stand for Equality

“I wanted to represent AT&T the best I could. Being a part of this commercial, especially during Black History Month, is important to me because it’s very cultural. It reminds me of my ancestors and how far we’ve come throughout the years. I really have to thank the many people who paved the way from MLK to Malcolm X to so many others who risked their lives so we can be as comfortable as we can be for this day and age.”

And, as an essential worker, Cyrus was proud to see the wide variety of roles featured – such as his own.

“When we think of essential workers we often talk about firefighters, doctors and nurses. In reality, there are so many more people… teachers, librarians, after-school rec leaders who help guide the children and keep us safe.

“I feel that’s another part of why Black History Month is so important to me. For so many years, we weren’t allowed to do so much and now we are. We’re probably saving a child’s life right now, because they know they can fulfill their own dreams.”

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