TnAchieves is seeking mentors to work with its latest class of students.
TnAchieves, a program which provides opportunities for public high school graduates in Anderson County to attend community college free of tuition or fees, is seeking mentors to work with its latest class of students. The Anderson County program, Anderson Achieves, is just starting this year and already has a long list of students needing mentors.
“The mentor application deadline is quickly approaching and we still need about 20 mentors to work with students in Anderson County and Clinton high schools,” said Krissy DeAlejandro, Executive Director, tnAchieves. “We also need mentors in Roane, Campbell, Scott, Knox and the surrounding counties.”
Fortunately, the program has recruited enough mentors to fill the need at Oak Ridge High School at this time. TnAchieves hopes to recruit all its needed mentors by the middle of September.
The privately-funded program gives students a chance to go to community college for two years by providing funding to fill the gap between any financial aid they are receiving and the total cost of tuition.
Each scholarship recipient is paired with a volunteer mentor from the community who can help them overcome the barriers associated with post-secondary education, such as lack of information about applying, knowing how to secure financial aid, and navigating requirements of college completion. The mentoring element is what sets tnAchieves apart from other college access programs.
Mentors generally spend 10-12 hours annually working with students and it’s a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in a young person’s life. Mentors are required to attend a single, two-hour-long training session.
In return for the financial gift, recipients of tnAchieves awards are required to give back to the community by providing eight hours of community service for each semester they receive funding.
“Our hope is that the students will continue giving back to the community and perhaps one day, return to the program as mentors themselves,” said DeAlejandro.
The program was established in Knox County as knoxAchieves in 2008 and has since evolved into a statewide network of 25 counties.
Go to www.tnachieves.org/become-a-mentor to download a mentor application.