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TNAchieves needs mentors for Tennessee Promise students

TNAchieves has created a successful mentoring program for the state. To maintain their success, however, they need the help of 9,000 volunteers across Tennessee and 402 mentors in Hamilton County by December 1st. (Image: UBC Learning Commons Flickr | CC BY 2.0)

TNAchieves has created a successful mentoring program for the state.

To maintain their success, however, they need the help of 9,000 volunteers across Tennessee and 402 mentors in Hamilton County by December 1st.

TN Promise offers every high school senior the opportunity to attend one of the state’s 13 community colleges or 27 colleges of applied technology tuition-free with a last dollar scholarship.

The students are then paired with mentors who work with them to help them prepare for the transition from high school to college.

TN Promise has become incredibly successful throughout Tennessee - nearly 180,000 students applied for the program in its first three years. The students who have participated in the program are retaining at rates higher than their peers that entered college without the TN Promise program.

TNAchieves Executive Director Krissy DeAlejandro says that TN Promise is breaking barriers for post-secondary students. “It sends the message to Tennessee families that post-secondary education is within reach for everyone, regardless of socio-economic status or zip code," says DeAlejandro, "It also attracts business and industry to Tennessee because we can know this generation is getting the required skills to be successful in tomorrow’s job market.”

In the first year, 16,291 students began college TN Promise eligible.

Which explains why enrollment at Tennessee's community and technical colleges has increased more than 20 percent, and enrollment at all of the state’s public higher education institutions increased by 10 percent.

These numbers mean that 4,000 new students are entering the college pipeline. With this higher number of students, TNAchieves needs 9,000 volunteers across the state to ensure students that apply are provided with a local support system.

The mentoring program requires a one hour per month commitment following a mandatory training and background check for the volunteer.

TNAchieves Deputy Director of Engagement and Partnerships Graham Thomas explained the importance of the role of the mentors. “Mentors provide the encouragement and support students need to be successful as they transition from high school and begin college.”

Thomas continued, “Mentors remind students of important deadlines, answer students’ questions, alleviate their concerns, and most importantly, encourage students to reach their full potential.”

The scholarship dollars are important, and often create excitement for those going to college through the TN Promise, but the support of the mentor can be critical to a student's success.

To learn more and apply you can visit their website or contact Thomas at graham@tnachieves.org or (615) 604-1306.

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