Project GRAD Summer Institute starts at Pellissippi State

Local News

More than 140 high schoolers will spend three weeks of summer break attending college. They’re part of Project GRAD, a program designed to give students a glimpse of higher education through its summer institutes. 

Students from Fulton and Austin East high schools were welcomed on Wednesday to orientation at Pellissippi State Community College. 

“I hope it gives me experience that I will take forward and use in everyday life,” said Tayon Wright, a student from Project GRAD. 

Raven Chambers, another student adds, “You should take any experience with college you can get, especially if you’re going on the college path.”

The program brings in experts from a variety of fields so students can get a preview of what they might enjoy as a career field.

“Really exciting instructors with hands on, interesting things for them to do and to learn,” said Rosalyn Tillman, the coordinator for Project GRAD. “When they come to college, students, a lot of them, come undecided. This experience gives them a broadening of what the possibilities are.”

A range of difference courses are offered, from technology to art. 

Brianna Morris wants learn more about science so she can kick start her career as a wildlife veterinarian one day. 

“I want to be a part of this because I’ve been trying to build up my application for college already. I know it’s early. Project GRAD gives you a really good opportunity for that,” said Morris. 

From eating in the cafeteria to classes, these students are getting the full experience of what life would be like on a college campus.

Project GRAD’s summer institute has been operating for 17 years. Organizers are hopeful that the skills learned and confidence gained will transfer into the students’ futures.

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