Project GRAD scholars receive vital tools for fall school

Positively Tennessee

It’s become an annual event here at WATE 6 On Your Side: the Project GRAD Laptop Telethon.

Back on March 28th, so many of you supported the cause. You helped raise more than $43,000 to provide laptops to students in the Project GRAD program at Austin East and Fulton High Schools.

We were pleased to present the laptops to these deserving students at Knoxville’s Urban League.

A total of 123 students meeting there, getting ready for the next phase in their education.

Each graduated in May, receiving scholarship dollars after completing Project GRAD requirements:

  • Maintaining a 2.5 GPA since freshman year.
  • Attending Summer Institutes at Pellissippi State Community College and the University of Tennessee, to give students a good idea of what to expect when they leave home.

Many are first-generation college students.

To receive a new laptop, still in the box, from WATE 6 On Your Side and our community, GRAD scholars must provide proof of college or technical school enrollment.

The excitement building as students got ready to accept these critical tools for school.

“If you meet one of them (students) or all of them, you’ll see why it’s so important, ” says Project GRAD staff member Annette Long. “Education is important, first of all, and we want to see them be successful. And if they don’t have these tools to be successful then we have kids coming back -they’re giving up.”

Jasmine Siler, also on GRAD staff, says, “This group of kids – they’re amazing. You know, the first thing they tell you is ‘thank you.'”

Smiles all around as this enthusiastic, hard-working 2019 class of Grad Scholars had their laptops in hand, sharing with us their plans for the future.

Jacob Neal plans to attend UT-Chattanooga to major in mechanical engineering.

Sade’ Gary is enrolled at Pellissippi State with plans to finish her college education at East Tennessee State University, to major in forensics.

Dee Maxwell will be majoring in nursing at UTC.

Those are just some of the plans of this energetic group of students.

They appreciate support from people they don’t even know.

Dee says, “that was wonderful. I thank them and appreicate them. “

Sade’ told us, “I say thank you, thank you , thank you because being at Austin East and being in a community where we don’t really have much – it means a lot to have someone look to us as kids and say, ‘I see your potential.'”

Our thanks to our WATE 6 On Your Side viewers who believe in these students.

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