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In light of COVID-19, tnAchieves has been working to support TN Promise students across the state by implementing new ways to offer encouragement and connect virtually.

Nearly two weeks into the Class of 2020 mandatory team meeting period, tnAchieves canceled all remaining meetings and quickly shifted the mandatory meeting to an online webinar. The meeting, accessible from a computer or smart phone, offers information on college enrollment processes and TN Promise requirements, ensuring the transition from high school to post-secondary is as seamless as possible for the student.

More students than ever learned about important next steps as they make the leap from high school to college. To date, nearly 49,000 students remain eligible for TN Promise. More importantly, students are using this important information to decide the best college for them.  

The TN Promise college cohort now has the opportunity to connect virtually with a tnAchieves staff member on an online platform of choice, including Zoom and Skype. tnAchieves’ virtual coaching sessions provide one-on-one and group setting discussions, allowing students to ask questions, engage with peers and create support systems. To date, over 1,250 students have participated in a coach-led virtual meeting.

“Without a doubt, the past few months have challenged our students in new and different ways,” said Krissy DeAlejandro, tnAchieves executive director. “Students need support and connection now more than ever. Through this time of uncertainty, our students have remained strong and resilient. We are proud of our students for overcoming obstacles and proactively taking steps to pursue a college credential!”

tnAchieves has also leveraged partnerships with stakeholders statewide to provide virtual community service opportunities to all TN Promise students. With more than 20 webinar options, students can earn community service hours and choose from a variety of topics including leadership, perspectives from college professors and insight to college from current TN Promise students. The webinars also introduce students to numerous careers and fields of study. To date, 71,800 hours have been logged with the webinars.

tnAchieves relies on 9,000 volunteers annually to support TN Promise students throughout the college-going process. tnAchieves has created a mentor portal to engage volunteers. Mentors are prompted via email and text to continue reaching out to students during this time of transition and utilize the portal to track student engagement.

“We continue to be inspired and humbled by the response of our partners across the state as we serve students in this unprecedented time,” tnAchieves Deputy Director of Partnerships Graham Thomas said. “Our business and industry partners answered the call to ensure students can meet the community service deadline and our mentors continue to offer support and words of encouragement at a time when students may be feeling very uncertain about their futures. We are so grateful for such a robust support system!”

tnAchieves is a 501(c)3 non-profit operating in 83 counties as the partnering organization of TN Promise. The tnAchieves staff is continuing to be fully available to all students and parents throughout this unprecedented time. Students in need of support can email tnachieves@tnachieves.org or visit tnachieves.org for a complete list of tnAchieves contacts. For additional information, email Amanda Schneider at amanda@tnachieves.org

—tnAchieves

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