At a time when some non-profits are struggling to survive, one East Tennessee agency is expanding.
What many know as knoxAchieves recently became tnAchieves. The organization is a non-profit focused on providing scholarships to first generation college students.
Thanks to a federal grant, they are growing to 25 counties across the state.
Tuesday night, 200 of the 600 Knox County recipients attended their orientation at Pelissippi State Community College.
"I'm pretty nervous about it but overall excited about going," said incoming freshman, Lauren Daniel. "There was no way I could pay for school and my car insurance and everything else to come here so I was really grateful to come here and get the scholarship."
Daniel will be the first person in her family to get a degree. She said her dad worked two jobs and wanted her to have what he didn't have.
Daniel's story is one tnAchieves says was all too common.
"We had a huge gap in Knox County with students who were doing nothing post secondary. They were graduating from high school and not moving on to college," said Executive Director Krissy Dealjandro.
tnAchieves is working to change that and doing so sucessfully in their three years of existence.
"We're super excited to take this opportunity to students across the state," said Dealijandro.
Unlike many scholarship programs, they have universal acceptance with no GPA or ACT requirements, but they do hold student accountable once their accepted.
The program is funded entirely through private money.
They are still looking for mentors in Knox and all of the other counties. Visit their website for more information.