Since its launch in 2018, AT&T Dream in Black has continued to celebrate and highlight Black individuals who are innovating, inspiring and working within their community to create a brighter future for others. As an extension of the platform, AT&T Dream In Black presents Rising Future Makers, as a part of AT&T’s ongoing commitment to help students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) rise as the next generation of change makers—to power their possibilities. AT&T Dream In Black Rising Future Makers is recognizing and rewarding HBCU students who are making a positive impact on their community and on campus. Twenty-five HBCU students will be recognized and rewarded as a Rising Future Maker with $5,000, as well as a technology package and access to industry leaders who can advocate for and guide them in their pursuits.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities have been incubators of Black Future Makers for centuries as some of our nation’s most prominent leaders and pop culture icons have attended HBCUs.

MADAMENOIRE and AT&T Dream In Black are excited to highlight one of these influential students hailing from an HBCU campus–Joshua Hughes, is a leader in his community and the personification of a Rising Future Maker.

Hughes’s parents always emphasized the importance of education, teaching him that society has used ignorance as a way to oppress the Black community. That love of education paid off, and Hughes was offered over 40 acceptance letters from colleges and over one million dollars in scholarship money. He ultimately chose to attend an HBCU to connect with his community. Then Hughes experienced what many hopeful freshmen did in 2020: a switch to online classes, as COVID-19 caused a nationwide shutdown of campuses.

Being isolated during his freshman year caused Hughes to experience extreme anxiety. Only since returning to campus has he felt the support he’s needed to overcome. Hughes says, “What Dream in Black means to me is to live comfortably in my Blackness regardless of how society may feel about me as a Black man.”

Upon graduation, Joshua plans to pursue his dreams by becoming a teacher to inspire future generations.

You can learn more about the AT&T Dream in Black Rising Future Makers campaign, including how to apply or nominate an HBCU student you know for the chance to win $5Gs presented by AT&T 5G and more, by visiting

Presented by AT&T Dream In Black

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