KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Project Grad Knoxville program offers career coaches at both of the high schools it serves: Fulton and Austin-East High Schools.

Tracey Holt and her daughter Aeriel Holt, a senior at Austin-East and Project Grad scholar, are in the Project Grad Office often going over last-minute financial aid ideas.

Aeriel Holt is graduating from Austin-East with a 4.2 GPA.

“I want to go to MTSU and major in business management. I’ve been accepted and I’ve filled out for housing and everything else,” she said.

Aeriel Holt has been active in track, student government, national honor society and of course, Project Grad.

“I love Project Grad,” she said. “Project Grad is very life-changing. I’ve gotten everything I’ve needed and a lot of the Project Grad stuff has motivated me to go the right direction.”

“Project Grad has provided a lot of resources. Of course, she gets the scholarship. They’ve also provided her with a college and career access coach which helped her with financial aid, helped her secure scholarships, they’ve even set her up with budget plans and we’ve been on college tours. They’ve made everything, college and careers, accessible to her and I appreciate that,” Tracey Holt told WATE.

Tracey Holt can tell anyone what they need to know about Project Grad. She made sure Aeriel Holt and her sister Maria Holt were in the program and now marvels at the timing of it all.

“My oldest one, she graduated from Austin-East in 2019. She’s also a Project Grad scholar. She’ll be graduating on May 14th from Hampton University, so, yes, I have two graduating two weeks apart and they’re both Project Grad scholars so, a little bit stressed, but I’ll be okay!”

In addition to being there for her daughters, now in post-secondary education, Tracey is working toward her Ph.D. in Epidemiology.