With the December 4 deadline less than two months away, tnAchieves needs an additional 3600 volunteer mentors across the state to support TN Promise applicants from the Class of 2021. Locally, Rutherford County needs 188 mentors to meet student demand.
Mentors spend one hour a month assisting students as they transition from high school to college. In 2021, mentors will serve students virtually with the support of an online mentoring platform, tnAchieves CONNECT. This platform will allow mentors to remain engaged with their community while doing so safely from home and on their own schedule. Mentors remind students of important deadlines, serve as a trusted college resource and, most importantly, encourage students to reach their full potential.
“The financial component of TN Promise is critical, but we know that the local support of a volunteer mentor can be a difference maker for students,” said Krissy DeAlejandro, tnAchieves Executive Director. “While 2020 presented new challenges, TN Promise enrollment increased six percent this fall. The support of mentors played a significant role in ensuring students achieved their college-going goals this fall. Mentor impact cannot be understated.”
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, tuition-free with mentor support. Many of the students that apply for the scholarship will be the first in their family to attend college, and mentors work with students to overcome barriers that previously prevented students from accessing higher education. In 2021, mentors will prove more important than ever before as students work to overcome new challenges.
“Students often need just a little extra help navigating the college-going process,” said tnAchieves Deputy Director of Partnerships, Graham Thomas. “Mentors in 2021 will prove critical in ensuring students have the resources and encouragement necessary to achieve their goals. With the introduction of tnAchieves CONNECT, we can ensure mentors and students continue building meaningful relationships in a safe, virtual environment.”
Mentors will be provided with comprehensive training and a handbook to help navigate the program. Volunteers will also receive weekly updates from tnAchieves and have access to our staff for questions and concerns.
Potential mentors must be 21 years of age and are subject to a background check. For more information or to apply, you can visit www.tnachieves.org or contact tnAchieves Director of Mentors Tyler Ford at (309) 945-3446 or tyler@tnAchieves.org.