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“You can really tell that she cares.” | Mentors needed for Tenn. Promise Scholarships

More mentors needed to support college students using Tennessee Promise Scholarships
Tennessee needs more mentors to help students who are attending college via the Tennessee...
Tennessee needs more mentors to help students who are attending college via the Tennessee Promise Scholarship.(WVLT)
Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 9:14 AM EDT|Updated: Nov. 4, 2021 at 9:54 AM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - More studying and more intensity at test-taking time are all part of the transition to college life for Katie Thorpe. She is grateful to her mentor, Jacy, for supporting her through the TN Achieves program.

Now the program needs dozens more volunteers to mentor other students like Thorpe.

“We’ll have midterms or final exams, and she’s very encouraging about that, especially in college when it can be very overwhelming having so many tests at once,” said Thorpe.

TN Achieves recruitment map
TN Achieves recruitment map(TN Achieves)

Volunteers typically assist students from their senior year in high school through their freshman year of college, when they attend a community or technical college while having tuition paid through a Tennessee Promise Scholarship. Thorpe said her mentor is staying in touch with her even in her sophomore year as she attends Pellissippi State Community College online.

Volunteer mentor Danni Varlan said she gets great joy from helping college students, “They are just ready to make some big decisions in their life. And I fit it in because it really is about one hour a month.”

Varlan is the Major Gifts, Grants and Estate Planning Officer for East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and also serves on the Board of Regents which oversees the state’s community colleges. She has been volunteering for more than five years as a mentor, typically mentoring several students at once.

Those interested can apply here.

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