KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Our fourth annual Project GRAD Laptop Telethon is May 20. Our goal is to provide laptops to 150 qualifying Grad scholars from Fulton and Austin-East high schools.

This school year has been challenging on so many levels. The need for technology has never been greater for students. One of those students is Loren Seagrave. Remember his name.

“I really want to get that higher level of acting where it’s technique and different ways to express emotion,” he said.

From an early age, Loren flourished under the bright lights. His onstage skills at school and in community theater have won awards.

“Austin-East has kind of put me on the right track, ” he said, “to be what I want to be.”

His GPA? 4.1.

Loren credits much of his success to Project GRAD Knoxville.

“They’ve been so supportive in giving me scholarships. They’re like, ‘come get your scholarship,’ every single week on my phone. It’s great,” he said.

Loren is headed to the University of Tennessee in the fall.

He’s grateful for the Project GRAD Laptop Telethon that will give him an essential tool for school.

“It’s just overwhelming,” he said.

“He said , ‘remember Mom, Project grad is going to provide a laptop,” his mother Sharon Couch told us with a smile. “I was like, ‘yes!'” she laughed.

Every year, we hope students know that these laptops send a powerful message of support from us and our community, especially this year with the officer-involved shooting death at Austin-East and the loss of other students to gun violence.

“It’s been hard,” Loren said.

Loren went before the Knox County Schools Board of Education to voice his concerns about the new daily student searches at school.

“It’s kind of like, it’s a really bad way to start your day every day, to get searched when you enter a place that’s supposed to be of learning, ” he said.

This driven young man is determined to leave a positive imprint on his school with a message for students starting at Austin-East in the fall.

“There’s so much outside forces coming at you,” he said, ” that once you have that thing that you’re passionate about, you can just hold on and it’ll take you, take you to senior year.”

Loren Seagrave.

Remember his name.

Loren’s goal is to go to Los Angeles and become a working actor.

By the way, his mother is a force to be reckoned with in her own right.

We are taking a deeper dive into her story, Wednesday, May 19th at 6pm on WATE 6 On Your Side.

Be sure to join us for our Project GRAD Laptop Telethon Thursday, May 20th, from 6am to 6:30 pm.

Your donation will be matched that day, thanks to a leadership gift from AE alum Fred Lowery. Our thanks to him and to Comcast as our presenting sponsor.

Project GRAD Laptop Telethon info

Our fourth annual Project Grad Laptop Telethon is from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 20, on WATE 6 On Your Side and

For more information on Project GRAD Knoxville, visit: