Knox County, others need more mentors for TN Promise students


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The deadline for volunteering to support TN Promise applicants is less than two months away and more than 400 mentors are needed in Knox and surrounding counties.

Mentors spend one hour a month assisting students as they transition from high school to college. In 2021, mentors will serve students virtually with the support of an online mentoring platform, tnAchieves CONNECT.

The platform allows students and mentors to stay connected safely from home and on their own schedules. Mentors remind students of important deadlines, serve as a trusted college resource and, most importantly, encourage students to reach their full potential.

“The financial component of TN Promise is critical, but we know that the local support of a volunteer mentor can be a difference maker for students,” tnAchieves Executive Director Krissy DeAlejandro said. “While 2020 presented new challenges, TN Promise enrollment increased six percent this fall. The support of mentors played a significant role in ensuring students achieved their college-going goals this fall. Mentor impact cannot be understated.”

Knox County needs 170 mentors before the Dec. 4 deadline. Statewide, tnAchieves needs an additional 3,600 volunteer mentors including in the following counties:

  • Anderson County: 39
  • Blount County: 60
  • Campbell County: 22
  • Grainger County: 8
  • Loudon County: 27
  • Morgan County: 11
  • Scott County: 19
  • Sevier County: 48
  • Union County: 16

TN Promise, in partnership with tnAchieves, allows every graduating high school senior the opportunity to attend a community or technical college, as well as several universities, tuition-free with mentor support.

“Students often need just a little extra help navigating the college-going process,” tnAchieves Deputy Director of Partnerships Graham Thomas said. “Mentors in 2021 will prove critical in ensuring students have the resources and encouragement necessary to achieve their goals.”

Mentors will be provided with training and a handbook to help navigate the program. Volunteers will also receive weekly updates from tnAchieves and have access to our staff for questions and concerns.

Potential mentors must be 21 years of age and are subject to a background check. For more information or to apply, you can visit or contact tnAchieves Director of Mentors Tyler Ford at 309-945-3446 or email  


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