Project GRAD Knoxville gearing up for 2021 laptop telethon

Positively Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — We are getting ready for our fourth year of helping students at Austin-East and Fulton High schools get a critical tool to help them continue their education.

Our goal on May 20 is to put a laptop in the hands of 150 deserving Project GRAD Knoxville students who’ve worked hard during an especially challenging year.

One of those students is Iyana Jones.

Iyana is a dedicated student in the Top 10% of Fulton’s senior class.

She looks forward to the next step in her education.

“I’ve been admitted to ETSU,” Jones told us.

She is ready, thanks to Project Grad’s college prep programs like the required Summer Institutes where students get a good glimpse of college life.

Iyana is also confident about her course of study, after getting a good foundation in technology as a little girl and a love for books, that creative combination was fostered at Fulton’s innovative communications program called FulCom.

“I’m planning to major in digital media,” Iyana said.

Her talent is already getting noticed.

Iyana helped create an award-winning poster for Knox Area Transit.

“I like having a plan for everything,” Iyana said, “so to be able to get that experience before I go to college, it helped solidify me wanting to go into digital media.”

Iyana’s mother, Mary Jones, said, “she’s doing her dream. She’s real smart, real kind, caring.”

Iyana also pushes herself to be her best.

“Throughout all my school life, I’ve always gotten As and Bs and I remember in fifth grade the first time I got a B on my report card. I cried all the way home.”

“It was terrible,” Mary Jones laughs, “I mean she cried and cried because you know, she wanted that A. I will say that she worked and brought it back up, she got her A but there was a B on that report card.”

Iyana is looking forward to making her mark in college, looking forward to getting a laptop, thanks to so many of you who support our Project Grad Knoxville telethon every year.

“So, to not have to worry about that cost and that being provided to me,” Iyana said, “it feels really nice.”

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, visit the Project GRAD Knoxville or read Project GRAD news stories.

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