Project GRAD is a 501(c)3 non-profit partnership between public schools and the private sector. A K-16 national education initiative, GRAD began as a scholarship program in the Houston Independent School District (TX) in 1989 and now serves 149,000 youth in 247 schools in 22 communities across the United States and the state of Pennsylvania—many from low income circumstances. GRAD is also impacting the future of our local region and city. Established in 2001, GRAD Knoxville serves more than 7,000 students in 14 Heart of Knoxville schools and 80 higher education institutions. Excellence in education, particularly for young people in our urban neighborhoods, is vital for Knoxville’s economic success.