Tennessee Promise sees record number of applicants; mentors needed

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NASHVILLE (WATE) – A record number of high school seniors have applied for the Tennessee Promise and the need is greater than ever for adults to serve as mentors.

Tuesday was the deadline to apply for the program which provides high school graduates two years of community or technical college free of tuition and fees. A record 60,780 high school seniors applied, up from 58,286 in 2014 and 59,621 in 2015.

The state’s goal is to secure 9,000 mentors before the deadline on November 20. So far, 4,500 have committed and only Hawkins and Grundy counties have met their individual goals.

“With this record number of applicants and a number of other indicators, it’s clear that Tennessee Promise is changing the conversation around going to college in Tennessee,” Gov. BIll Haslam said. “But we don’t just want students to apply to college; we want them to succeed in college and graduate. Mentors play a huge role in the program’s success. We’re half way to our goal of 9,000 mentors with only a few weeks until the deadline, so I want to encourage Tennesseans to consider mentoring. The time commitment is small, but the impact can be life changing for students across our state and in your community.”

Mentors must be 21 or older, attend a one-hour training session and two one-hour meetings with their students over the course of a year. On average, mentors spend about an hour a month working with three to seven students as they transition from high school to college, reminding them of important deadlines, encouraging them and serving as a trusted resource.More online:Apply to be a mentor

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