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Motlow: TN Promise mentors needed

Posted on Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 9:00 am

Two important Tennessee Promise deadlines occur on Dec. 1, according to officials at Motlow College.

All current Motlow students have until Dec. 1 to complete eight hours of community service in order to remain eligible for the Tennessee Promise scholarship. The same deadline applies for anyone interested in volunteering to become a Tennessee Promise mentor.

“There are numerous ways that students can complete their community service hours, including job shadowing, cleaning local, state and recreational parks, or by assisting local nonprofit organizations,” said Jonathan Graham, Motlow’s Tennessee Promise coordinator.

Students who still need to complete their community service hours can visit the Motlow Tennessee Promise webpage at tnpromise.mscc.edu/service-opportunities for an up-to-date listing of community service opportunities in their area.

Students can also visit the tnAchieves website at tnachieves.org/community-service for a listing of community service opportunities for students in their local region. Community service hours can be submitted to the tnAchieves website as well.

Motlow Tennessee Promise Coordinator Debra Smith, who handles Bedford, Cannon, Coffee, DeKalb, Franklin, Lincoln, Moore, Van Buren, Warren and White counties, is urging any interested Motlow faculty, staff and administrators and members of the general public to apply to the tnAchieves mentor program.

Mentors play a critical role in assisting students as they navigate the challenges of post-secondary education, according to Smith.

“Mentors help students as they transition from high school to college by being available to answer their questions and help them find resources,” Smith said.

“The time commitment from a mentor is minimal, yet being there to let the student know that someone cares about their future can make a very positive impact on the student’s college experience, and ultimately their life.”

Currently, there are over 600 mentors that have been recruited for the Motlow service area, although almost 400 more are needed. To apply to be a Tennessee Promise mentor please visit tnachieves.org/mentors/apply.

The Tennessee Promise scholarship program is playing an important role in Governor Haslam’s “Drive to 55” goal, where 55 percent of Tennesseans will be equipped with a college degree or certificate by the year 2025.

According to Smith, “Tennessee Promise has already increased the college going rate by four percent statewide, and even higher in most of the counties Motlow serves. College loans are already down 23 percent in Tennessee,” Smith added. “(Many of) our students are graduating from college without debt!”

Students must complete the tnAchieves program in their county to access Tennessee Promise funding. For further information regarding the Tennessee Promise program at Motlow, contact Jonathan Graham at jgraham@mscc.edu or 615-220-7839, or Debra Smith at dsmith@mscc.edu or 931-438-9766.