The Transformative Power of Volunteering as a Mentor for Tennessee Archives

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Tennessee Achieves

 

As thousands of Tennessee’s high school graduates embark on their college journeys amidst an already uncertain time, the Tennessee Promise scholarship program continues to stand as a beacon of hope and opportunity. Launched in 2015, this initiative offers high school graduates the incredible chance to pursue a college education without the burden of tuition fees.

Tyler Ford, a program representative, highlights the remarkable inclusivity of Tennessee Promise, stating, “The great thing about Tennessee Promise is that there is no economic threshold. There is no academic threshold. If you’re a high school senior and you can meet a few very straightforward requirements, you can go to college for free.”

Tennessee Promise extends its support to the state’s 13 community colleges, 27 technical schools, and eligible colleges offering associate degree programs. Additionally, it assigns each participating student a mentor. However, there’s a pressing need for more mentors. Tennessee Promise requires 9,000 volunteers statewide, with the demand for mentors varying by county based on the number of students enrolled in the program.

Mentor Program Timeline

Mentors commit to ONE YEAR at ONE HOUR per month to support tnAchieves seniors who are transitioning from high school to college.

Now-October 20, 2023

• Complete the mentor application at tnAchieves.org by October 20, 2023.
Invite your friends to join you. Remember, you have the option of choosing your county and high school!

Now-November 3, 2023

  • After completing your mentor application, view the one-hour tnAchieves mentor training webinar to learn more about mentor expectations and program logistics.
    November 2023
  • Receive list of assigned TN Promise students from the high school of your choice.
    December 2023-January 2024
  • Meet with assigned TN Promise students at their Mandatory TN Promise
    Meeting hosted at their high school.
    February-May 2024
  • Ensure that students file the 2024-2025 FAFSA. Mentors are also encouraged to reconnect with their students during this timeframe.
    May-August 2024
  • Remind students to submit 8 hours of community service by July 1 and ensure they are following the steps to successfully enroll in college.
    August-October 2024
  • Ensure that your group of assigned TN promise students begin college the fall following high school graduation and find success their first semester of college.

For those eager to make a difference, volunteering as a mentor through Tennessee Achieves is the gateway to positively impact the next generation of Tennessee’s workforce. Mentors play a vital role in guiding students toward acquiring high-quality post-secondary credentials and building the skills necessary to pursue meaningful careers.

Becoming a tnAchieves mentor requires just one hour per month, but this seemingly small commitment can have a significant and lasting impact on a student’s life. By investing 12 hours annually, mentors assist 8-10 high school seniors in their journey from high school to college. Importantly, you don’t need prior experience in education to become a mentor. All mentors receive online training and a comprehensive handbook guide to the program, with tnAchieves staff readily available to address any questions and offer support.

In the upcoming academic year of 2023-2024, all mentors will have the opportunity to meet their students in person during a meeting hosted at the students’ high schools. This in-person connection, which is highly beneficial for building strong mentor-mentee relationships, is a crucial component of the program’s success. This mandatory meeting will be scheduled in either early December or January and will take place during the school day or in the late afternoon.

The impact of a mentor goes far beyond simply offering guidance; mentors inspire, engage, and navigate the educational paths of their students. They encourage students to pursue post-secondary pathways that lead to meaningful careers, actively participate in Tennessee’s workforce development, and provide essential direction and connections to valuable resources.

In conclusion, volunteering as a mentor through Tennessee Achieves is a transformative opportunity to support the future leaders of Tennessee. By investing your time and knowledge, you can help students overcome barriers and achieve their educational dreams. This initiative not only benefits the individual students but also contributes to the overall prosperity and development of our state. If you’re ready to make a meaningful impact and empower the next generation, consider becoming a tnAchieves mentor today.