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tnAchieves needs around 1,400 more mentors in East Tennessee to help Class of 2023 transition into college life

The mentors spend an hour per month with students starting their college careers, helping them navigate life after high school.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A program that helps students navigate their new collegiate careers immediately after high school is searching for more mentors to volunteer in East Tennessee. They said around 1,400 more people are needed in the area.

The mentors play a crucial role in helping students in the program succeed. Through the program, several eligible students who immediately go to higher education after high school can get funding for their education.

Thirteen community colleges and 27 Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology participate in the program, and many 4-year colleges also participate in the program.

The tnAchieves program works with almost all applicants who get the TN Promise scholarship. It connects students with mentors who help them navigate challenges they may face when adjusting to college, such as issues with assignments or with living on-campus. In 2023, tnAchieves also made some challenges to the program.

They said they combined virtual tools with the strategies they used in previous years. Mentors will be able to connect with students earlier than before and will also be able to participate in in-person meetings.

They are hoping to find more than 9,000 volunteer mentors by October 21, 2022. That way, they said every student in the Class of 2023 will be supported.

Mentors need to be over 21 years old and will need to go through a standard background check. They will also need to complete training to participate in the program.

The number of mentors needed per county as of Aug. 5 is available below.

  • Anderson County: 102 Mentors
  • Blount County: 156 Mentors
  • Campbell County: 39 Mentors
  • Cocke County: 37 Mentors
  • Cumberland County: 54 Mentors
  • Fentress County: 20 Mentors
  • Grainger County: 19 Mentors
  • Greene County: 77 Mentors
  • Hamblen County: 76 Mentors
  • Hancock County: 6 Mentors
  • Hawkins County: 60 Mentors
  • Jefferson County: 42 Mentors
  • Knox County: 468 Mentors
  • Loudon County: 45 Mentors
  • McMinn County: 56 Mentors
  • Meigs County: 13 Mentors
  • Morgan County: 22 Mentors
  • Roane County: 31 Mentors
  • Scott County: 32 Mentors
  • Sevier County: 109 Mentors

The program said they have only recruited 2,106 mentors so far, out of their 9,000 mentor goal. Anyone who wants to be a mentor can apply online.

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