As of December 2018, tnAchieves, the partnering organization to Governor Haslam’s TN Promise in 83 counties, surpassed two million hours of community service given back by its students. Students have volunteered at numerous organizations over the past decade including animal shelters, food pantries and community outreach agencies. They have also participated in community events occurring across Tennessee.
Community service has been a principal component of tnAchieves since the program’s inception in 2009 and became a requirement of the TN Promise scholarship when launched in 2014. Students are required to give back at least eight hours each semester to maintain scholarship eligibility.
In addition to volunteering, TN Promise students can also spend their eight hours job shadowing. Job shadowing heightens awareness of high demand career opportunities and provides students with real world experience. Last year, tnAchieves, in partnership with businesses across the state, launched TN Promise Job Shadow Day, with over 350 students participating.
“The founding members of tnAchieves felt strongly about cultivating a culture of giving back,” said Krissy DeAlejandro, executive director of tnAchieves. “It has been a pillar of our work since we launched and continues to be an important component of TN Promise. While many are choosing worthy service experiences, other students are spending their time gaining critically important soft skills during job shadow opportunities. We are thankful to countless statewide partners who open their doors for our students.”
“It is important to give back to the community,” says Cameron Cox, Northeast State Community College sophomore, who spent his hours at Goodwill. “I am proud of the work I did and to set an example for the younger generation.”
TN Promise, in partnership with tnAchieves, allows every graduating high school senior the opportunity to attend a community or technical college, as well as several universities offering associate’s degree programs, tuition free with mentor support.