KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The TN Promise Class of 2022 has returned to prepandemic applicant numbers. As a result, more mentors are needed to guide and support Tennessee’s high school seniors as they go from high school to college.

Right now, tnAchieves needs an additional 4,200 volunteer mentors. Around a third of Knox County applicants are still in need of a mentor. With one month until the Dec. 3 deadline, the group says more volunteers will help ensure the Class of 2022 has access to a local support system.

“As we work to reverse the sharp decline in college enrollment caused by the pandemic, volunteer mentors will play an essential role for our students,” said tnAchieves Executive Director Krissy DeAlejandro. “Our volunteer mentors set our program apart from other scholarships across the country. They encourage and support. They normalize college, which is vital considering many of our students are the first in their families to attend college.”

Mentors remind students of important deadlines, serve as a trusted college resource, and encourage students to reach their full potential. Mentors choose between 5 and 10 high school seniors to guide. tnAchieves says it will take about one hour per month and mentors can choose to serve their students virtually or in person.

Mentors will receive a handbook and training before working with students. Those interested in applying or learning more can visit www.tnAchieves.org/mentors/apply.