Majority of Tennessee Promise students not meeting requirements– as deadline rapidly approaches

TENNESSEE (WJHL)– Tennessee Promise is known across the state– as a scholarship and mentoring program focused on increasing the number of students that attend college in Tennessee.

And students– taking advantage of the Tennessee Promise Scholarship– have a big deadline that’s rapidly approaching.

Joshua Johnson who works with the Tennessee Promise students at Northeast State Community College explained that, “If they don’t turn in their 8 hours of community service by December 1 then they’ll be ineligible for the spring and we don’t want to see that happen”

In order to continue receiving funds from Tennessee promise, every student is required to perform at least 8 hours of community service, for each semester.

“That comes full circle– basically, 8 hours of community service for each student. If we have 1000 students in the program– then that’s 8000 hours of community service that we’re putting right back in the area.”

So every student– who receives money from Tennessee promise– only has about 2 weeks lefts to complete those hours. Johnson said “Currently the state average is 23%– right now we’re sitting right around 22/23% reported and it is a little disheartening…”

With over 75% of students state-wide not reporting their hours of community service yet– school officials– like Johnson– are begging students not to miss this deadline.

Johnson said “Most students, when they think of community service– they think they have to be out on the side of the road, picking up garbage. That’s not what community service always is. They can work at the bridge no-kill animal shelter, they can go help out at second harvest food bank, or they could job shadow with people just like yourself.”

And this time of the year– is a great time to start volunteering– as many local non-profits are in need of extra help. “Those activities the last few weeks of the program will give us a boost right before the deadline,” said Johnson.

Lester Lattany, president and CEO of United Way for Washington County, said students can “dig in and they can help. They can pack groceries, they can box, they can do angel trees and help with all the packing for all the angels and all those good opportunities– and it’s a chance for them to understand that it’s not just about receiving but it is about giving.”

And Lattany stresses that requiring service hours– is not only a great thing for the communities, that receive aid, but also for the students–

“The state of Tennessee, our colleges and our universities are providing an opportunity through them through this Tennessee promise so that this is a way for them to give back to something. Because if they learn through volunteerism how important community is– then volunteerism will be with them throughout their entire life.”

For more information about Tennessee promise, visit this link http://tnpromise.gov/about.shtml or contact your local school advisor.

Copyright 2015 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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