Knoxville's Project GRAD awards scholarships

Knoxville's Project GRAD awards scholarships, night before possible funding cuts

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Project Grad scholarships were awarded Sunday night during the annual Scholars Celebration Dinner at the Knoxville Convention Center. Project Grad scholarships were awarded Sunday night during the annual Scholars Celebration Dinner at the Knoxville Convention Center.
About 140 high school seniors earned college scholarships through Knoxville's Project GRAD program this year. About 140 high school seniors earned college scholarships through Knoxville's Project GRAD program this year.
Sunday night focused on what the program is all about, helping students graduate and go to college. Sunday night focused on what the program is all about, helping students graduate and go to college.
The celebration comes the night before the Knox County School Board votes on next year's budget, which includes a possible eight percent cut to the program. The celebration comes the night before the Knox County School Board votes on next year's budget, which includes a possible eight percent cut to the program.

By KAYLA STRAYER
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - About 140 high school seniors earned college scholarships through Knoxville's Project GRAD program this year.

They were awarded Sunday night during the annual Scholars Celebration Dinner at the Knoxville Convention Center.

Good Morning Tennessee anchors Tearsa Smith and Bo Williams emceed the event.

The celebration comes the night before the Knox County School Board votes on next year's budget, which includes a possible eight percent cut to the program.

But Sunday night focused on what the program is all about, helping students graduate and go to college.

For Fulton High School student Matthew Heater, that means years of hard work finally paying off.

"When I first started Project GRAD, I didn't really think I could do anything, just stand behind a fryer and flip burgers, but now since I went through Project GRAD and got my scholarship it's going to help me get to college," Heater said.

"I'm just proud of him," said his mom Beth Miller.

She says the program helped her son get into college, and get some confidence.

"Matthew used to be a shy little fellow in the back. People would pick on him. He got in Project GRAD and he just, he knows what he wants to do and he's going to do it," Miller said.

Charita Chandler is also proud of her son, Willie Manning, for earning a college scholarship.

"I wanted to cry. I was just proud of him, happy you know long journey, glad it's over," Chandler said.

Manning says before he joined Project GRAD, he wasn't even thinking about college.

"I'm just excited I got through the program, got my scholarship, $4,000 in the bank," Manning said.

But now with possible cuts coming to the program, Miller is worried about its future.

"I think it's awful. I think they just need to leave it alone. They need to figure out where they can get it elsewhere. This project is good," Miller said.

The budget is scheduled to be voted on Monday night.

 

 

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