Project GRAD laptops make a difference for students

Local News
POSITIVELY LAPTOP-edit_1551476283259.jpg.jpg

Thanks to the community and those who donated – we raised $43,905!! Thank you!! 

Project GRAD Laptop Telethon was March 28. 

Time: 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Project GRAD has partnered with Knox County Schools, the Great Schools Partnership and the community for more than a decade to increase the graduation rate of students in Knoxville’s center city.  More information about Project GRAD.

How to Donate:

* Call 865-582-4985.

* Make a donation online.

* Make a donation by check. Make checks payable to Project Grad and mail to Project GRAD Knoxville, 1100 Marion St., Suite 100, Knoxville, TN 37921.

Reg Onte’ Jones paid a visit to WATE 6 On Your Side studios, laptop in hand, excited to share with us how this critical tool for college is helping him at Pellissippi State Community College.

“It’s just great,” Reg Onte’ told us, “because you’ll be a step ahead going into college. There are so many other kids that don’t have a computer.”

It was our goal to provide that tool for school to kids who deserve the help and a pat on the back for a job well done throughout high school.

“We had kids who were working to save for a laptop, who were weeks or months away from having it when classes started,” Ronni Chandler, executive director of Project Grad Knoxville, said. “And so what that means is they don’t have to go to the library to depend on access to computer labs because that’s limited to when the lab is open.”

When he isn’t in class, Reg Onte’ works for UPS.

He is the type of student who seizes each opportunity.

The Fulton High School grad got good grades in school, played on the football team, and continues to play now, semi-pro.

He’s a well-rounded young man planning a career with the goal of helping others.

“Psychology. I love it,” Reg Onte’ told us. “I’m taking a psychology class right now. It’s not the main one but it’s like a basic one. I actually like it. A lot of stuff I didn’t know.”

Thanks to you, East Tennessee, the laptops purchased through your donations sent an important message of support and served as a catalyst for quicker enrollment than ever before.

“We know that the laptop was a big incentive in kids getting their scholarship claim forms in on time,” Chandler said. “Usually they kind of lag about getting their paperwork in but they don’t get the funds released to their institution for their scholarship until they provide proof of enrollment.”

Reg Onte’ had a message for everyone supporting the telethon: “we appreciate you. You’ve been really helpful to us.”

The first WATE GRAD scholars Laptop Telethon in 2018 raised $41,867, and 88 laptops were distributed to GRAD Scholarship recipients who enrolled in higher education.

2019 telethon information

The 2019 telethon is March 28 from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on WATE 6 On Your Side.

Right now, there are 125 Project GRAD students total from Austin East and Fulton High Schools working to receive scholarships and qualify for a laptop computer.

If you’d like to donate now: www.wate.com/projectgrad

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

WATE 6 On Your Side Twitter