Hello, I am Henry and this is my journey and life at AT&T!
I was born prematurely on February, 6th 1987, in my Uncle Henry’s car, in a little small town in South Carolina. I’m sure you can tell I’m named after my uncle who was the hero of the night rushing my mother to the hospital. They had me in incubation for quite some time. Doctors didn’t think I was going to make it and told my mom to prepare for the worst, but I endured.
I was able to go home a few months later. As life would have it, another unfortunate event would happen before my first birthday, as I often hear my great aunt and mother tell the story. At the age of ten months, I was left in a hot car in the care of a babysitter who was fishing at the time and didn’t want the mosquitoes to bite me. When my mom came to pick me up, she said I just didn’t look like myself. Shortly after that, I began having a seizure.
I was rushed to the hospital and had multiple seizures as doctors fought to stabilize me. The hospital had to call in the medical helicopter and airlift me to MUSC Children’s Hospital in Charleston, SC. On that ride, I stopped breathing and had more seizures. They revived me and we made it to the hospital. Doctors were fighting for me to live, I had another seizure, stopped breathing again, and this time my heart stopped beating. The doctors didn’t give up and it worked.
Those same doctors had to give my mom some heartbreaking news. “Ms. White your son has gone a long time without oxygen to his brain. He will have permanent brain damage and will have developmental issues. He may never be able to talk clearly or walk and may also need 24/7 care for life.” Time passed and at the age of three, I was still crawling around. My great aunt said, ‘Henry you’ve got to walk to me!” She had a candy bar and, boy, did I want it badly. To her surprise I stood up and I took some steps. Before I was four, I was walking everywhere! By the time I was five you could not get me to stop talking as I began to start putting words together in preschool. In my school years, I struggled and was in the speech therapy and special education program. By the time I got to eighth grade my resource teacher pulled me aside and said, “Henry you have straight A’s in all your classes as if nothing is a challenge for you!” I ended up taking a test that determined I no longer needed my resource teacher. I made the jump from the special education program directly to Honors English and Language Arts.
I graduated High school, and like so many people, I struggled to find myself and exactly what I wanted to do in life. I often worked two jobs, everything from pizza delivery to furniture delivery, a movie theater, and I even ran a night club. I was lucky to have encouraging people in my life, including a coach who told me I was a bright kid and should make sure I opened an IRA the first chance I got. By the age of 19, I was taking any extra money to do exactly that.
Years passed and I moved from Myrtle Beach, SC to Charleston, SC, a place that always magically felt like home to me. I took a job working for Aaron’s and later went to work for Orkin as I needed more income. While working for Orkin as a termite tech I was also paying my way through college at Strayer University for my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
My introduction to AT&T was very unique. While at lunch one day in August of 2015 I spotted a guy working in a ditch with a tool that made interesting, strange sounds. I got curious and walked over and asked him what on earth he was doing in the ditch. He said he was locating a cut cable and was using a locator and a toner connected to the other end of the cable. His name was Matt and, little did I know, he was about to change my life. I saw his truck said AT&T and we began talking about our work experiences and life working outside. I asked more questions and, as Matt told me more about his job and the great things he was doing for people, I knew I wanted in on it.
I applied and received a call a week later for an interview. I kicked off my AT&T career training as a Wire Technician on 9/11/2015 in Charlotte, NC. Weeks passed and the group of men and women working together built bonds like true brothers and sisters. We completed training and it was official! I was now a Wire Technician for AT&T, but little did I know at the time how working for AT&T would become more of a lifestyle than a job.
I spent three years connecting customers to internet, TV and home phone service. My manager encouraged me to consider a job in Sales, something he thought I would be perfect for. I took his advice and jumped into a Retail Sales Consultant job, boy was he right! I totally rocked it. Customers were waiting just to speak with me because their friends or family said you have to go see Henry, he is amazing. My peers began to ask me…what was my secret? It’s not a secret, all you have to do is make friends and naturally you will gain both a friend and a customer.
I wanted more of this AT&T life. I checked out our Corporate Headquarters and knew what I really wanted was to work there one day. So, to manifest my destiny, I headed west and moved to Dallas TX. I thought it would be easy for me to find a job there but Covid hit right as I was making my big move. I used every vacation day I had available to travel all over Dallas, dropping in at stores to meet Store Managers and share my success and experiences. I took the bold road and reached out to Regional Managers to get my name out there.
After a long month of searching, I got a job in a little store in the Preston Hollow community in Dallas. I nailed it there! Which gave me a chance to make my next move to VSE – Virtual Sales Experience thanks to one of my greatest mentors and friends in business – Patrick, a.k.a. Diggs. He always told me to get out there and win big, and that’s exactly what I’m doing.
I plan on VSE being another stop on my path to the top. My goal is to join the Talent Attraction team so I can bring new talent to a company that I know brings together an amazing Culture, Diversity and an endless sea of opportunities. Just like Matt and Patrick have done for me, I want to be the one who changes lives simply by sharing my love for this job.
I share this personal journey of growth with you all to say this: None of this was supposed to be possible for me; I have beaten the odds every time. Here I am today, alive and well. I can walk, I can talk and I’m using my gifts, not only for me, but to motivate and inspire others to do the same. AT&T has afforded me the opportunity to help my community, take care of my family, develop my skills personally and professionally and mentor my peers. AT&T has bought me so many new friends who are like family to me. I’m a firm believer in the mantra that if you can dream it, you can achieve it. Have faith in yourself and understand you’re a lot stronger than you can ever imagine.Learn More About #LifeAtATT