tnAchieves: A Way to Empower Students, Be a Resource, and Transform Your Community

Posted by on May 24, 2016

TnAchieves groupRecently, Erin Curry, Justin Watson, and Richard Holt attended their first tnAchieves mentor meeting with their new students. tnPromise is the Tennessee scholarship that provides two years of post-secondary education at no cost to Tennessee high school students. tnPromise is part of an initiative, the Drive to 55,  to get 55% of Tennesseans equipped with a technical certificate or college degree by 2025. tnAchieves, a support program to tnPromise, was established to help those students, usually first-generation college students, navigate the college/technical school application process. Part of the program is to provide mentors from the local community to offer the students guidance and support as they start their college careers. Erin, Justin, and Richard are excited to be involved in such a worthwhile program.

The mission of tnAchieves is to increase higher education opportunities for Tennessee high school students by providing last-dollar scholarships with mentor guidance. As a partnering organization to Governor Haslam’s Tennessee Promise, tnAchieves guides students across the state through the transition from high school to college.

The mentors play a critical role in the success of the students, as they serve as a resource, sharing their own experiences and offering encouragement and support. Data confirms that working with a mentor increases the likelihood that a student will pursue a post-secondary experience. In fact, UT’s Center for Business and Economic Research found that students participating with tnAchieves are nearly 21 percent more likely to enter college.

It’s really rewarding to see these kids have a whole new avenue opened up to them. On average, you’ll invest 10–15 hours annually assisting 5–10 high school seniors. The role is simple but significant; as the mentors help the students reach their potential. The mentors attend two meetings with the students. From there the mentors communicate with the students via text, email, and phone, reminding them of deadlines, answering questions, etc. (The mentors are encouraged to communicate with the students however the students wants to communicate so you actually get responses from them.)

Sain Associates currently has three employees in the Pulaski branch office who are mentors in the tnAchieves program.

This is my second year, and Richard and Justin signed up this year. They both were assigned seven boys, and I have seven girls. This has been a very rewarding experience for me and I highly encourage other Tennesseans to volunteer to mentor in your own community.

To become a tnAchieves mentor, you must…

  • Be 21 years or older
  • Submit to a background check
  • Complete mandatory mentor training
  • Attend a mandatory High School Team Meeting
  • Attend a mandatory College Team Meeting

… to apply online click here:  https://tnachieves.org/mentor-application

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