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tnAchieves still needs 7,500+ mentors by October to help students get into college | Here's how you can help

For the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, tnAchieves said they will be returning to an in-person mentorship program.
Credit: Fabio Principe - stock.adobe.com

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — tnAchieves is introducing a reimagined mentoring program in 2023 to combat the 9% drop in the state’s college-going rate since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and they said they still need more than 7,500 mentors by October to make it happen.

tnAchieves said the mentoring program will combine proven, time-tested strategies with virtual tools to allow volunteers to make a greater impact for local students pursuing a post-secondary degree.

tnAchieves is a privately‐funded scholarship and mentoring program based in Knoxville that seeks to provide an opportunity for Tennessee students to earn a college degree.

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According to tnAchieves, the fundamentals of their mentoring will remain the same; however, the 2023 mentoring role will introduce several key elements that lead to a longer-lasting, more meaningful mentor/student connection.

  • Mentors will return to an in-person meeting with their students. For the first time since the pandemic, mentors will gather at a tnAchieves team meeting in December or January to begin relationship building with their assigned students.
  • Mentors will begin work with their 2023 students earlier than ever before. tnAchieves will provide mentors with their student’s contact information in November of 2022, allowing mentors to have earlier access to their students during their college-going planning.
  • tnAchieves will continue to leverage familiar virtual tools. During the pandemic, tnAchieves introduced online tools to assist mentors in maintaining effective student connections. The mentoring role will continue to rely on and encourage use of these tools for effective mentoring.

“We are incredibly excited to be announcing these updates to the mentoring program,” said tnAchieves Senior Director of Mentors Tyler Ford. “By providing our volunteers with earlier access to their students and facilitating an in-person meeting opportunity, we believe tnAchieves mentors will play a significant role in reversing some of the downward trends we have seen through the pandemic.”

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tnAchieves said any individual who has one hour per month and is committed to making a difference in the lives of local students can serve as an effective mentor.

tnAchieves said they need more than 7,500 mentors by October 21, 2022. Mentoring takes just one hour per month and all volunteers are provided a training as well as ongoing support from the tnAchieves team. Those interested in applying or learning more can visit here.

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