The Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce and business member investors have recruited 84 percent of the 381 mentors needed to support the Tennessee Promise scholarship program in Hamilton County.
“Hamilton County led the state last year in recruiting volunteer mentors and with Chattanooga State, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Unum, our own Chattanooga Chamber and Regions Bank leading the way this year, we hope to exceed goal again,” said Sybil Topel, vice president, marketing and communications, Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce.
“Our college-bound high school students need us and Chamber member investors agree that this program works wonders,” Ms. Topel said. “I volunteered last year and spent about 15 hours over the course of the year texting, meeting or talking with my assigned students. They were great, getting their community service done early and making sure financial aid forms were filed on time.
“We need 60 more volunteers to reach the state-set goal. This is one of many workforce development initiatives that members tell us they heartily support.”
"Mentors help five to 10 high school seniors transition to college by spending about an hour per month, for about nine months, ensuring students complete required community service projects, reminding them of deadlines and lessening the post-secondary intimidation factor by sharing personal experiences.
"Tennessee Promise is a last-dollar scholarship providing the opportunity for every Tennessee high school student to earn a post-secondary credential. It funds up to $4,000 annually for five consecutive semesters at participating colleges and universities.
"tnAchieves is the partnering organization of Tennessee Promise, supporting the program by coordinating guidance from community mentors for students.
"Since the launch of Tennessee Promise three years ago, students have completed more than 1 million hours of community service statewide, and the college attendance rate has increased 4.6 percent, according to tnAchieves," officials said.
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