19 more needed by Friday
Almost 60,000 students statewide applied for TN promise in the program's second year. TN Promise provides applicants with a scholarship to attend one of the state's community or technical colleges tuition-free. In Wilson County, 1,486 students applied for the opportunity.
Every student that applies also participates in the tnAchieves program. Through this program, students are supported by a volunteer mentor that helps guide them through the college-going process. Currently, 193 mentors have registered to participate in Wilson County, but 19 more are needed by Nov. 20.
The financial component is important, but many of the students in the program are the first person in their family to attend college; therefore, the assistance and encouragement provided by the mentor can be the difference-maker. The time commitment is small - about one hour per month - but the impact is significant as volunteers assist students navigating the college-going process and encourage them to reach their full potential.
"Support from the local community is critical for student success as well as the success of the program," Krissy DeAlejandro, tnAchieves executive director, said. "Mentors provide the necessary support system and encouragement that TN Promise students need to be successful."
In its first year, 1,509 students from Wilson County applied for TN Promise. Students who participate are required to complete at least eight hours of community service each semester of college. This creates a culture of giving back and allows the students to explore potential career opportunities within their communities. Since January 2015, more than 5,000 hours of community service were performed by students locally.
The program does not have GPA or ACT requirements to participate. The universal acceptance policy allows tnAchieves to reach the student who lacks financial support via the state's lottery scholarship and/or other academic scholarships. This philosophy also ensures the program captures its target student, rather than serving as a supplemental program for students who planned to attend a post-secondary institution without its assistance.