Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

Fulton Student awarded scholarship by The Inky and Allison Johnson Foundation

Friday, April 17th, 2015

The Inky and Allison Johnson Foundation has awarded the  2015 Overcoming Adversity Scholarship to Jakayia (“Kay Kay”) Fain, graduating senior at  Fulton High School in Knoxville, TN.  Fain was encouraged to apply for the scholarship by Project GRAD Knoxville College/Career Access Coach Justin Long.  Fain, the second of seven siblings raised by a single mother, began playing basketball as a child to escape the harsh realities of public housing.  Despite the tragic death of her mother two days before her 16th birthday and a torn ACL, Fain was determined to finish strong.  She returned to basketball, was named All-District and All Region MVP and will graduate with honors on May 13.

The Johnsons established the Overcoming Adversity Scholarship to recognize a student who has exhibited determination to push beyond great adversity in the pursuit of education.   Inquoris “Inky” Johnson was injured when a routine tackle turned into a life-threatening injury.  Despite a paralyzed right arm, daily pain, and constant physical challenges, Inky obtained a master’s degree in sports psychology from the University of Tennessee.  He is an inspirational speaker and mentors athletes and youth.  Johnson and wife Allison reside in Atlanta, GA.

(Inky and Allison Johnson Foundation)

Read Jakayia’s (Kay Kay) essay:

Overcoming My Adversity

Growing up and being the second oldest of seven children was never easy for me. Coming up we didn’t always have enough, so I started playing basketball to escape the harsh realities of living in the projects. It’s hard watching the things that went on in my neighborhood but I promised myself I was going to make it out. As I grew older more circumstances began to come about and the times got harder. Two summers ago my family got a knock at our door from the police telling us that our mother had just died in a car accident. It hurt knowing two days after the accident my mother wouldn’t see me turn sixteen or see me walk the stage at graduation. Knowing that she wouldn’t be there I just knew I had to step up to the plate and be a positive role model for my brothers and sister, so that’s what I did.

I excelled in the classroom and on the basketball floor until I tore my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and was out for nine months. On the road to recovery I told myself I would be my own motivation and nothing would stand in my way. After a very trying junior year I made a dedication to my mom and it was through my basketball career. Since then I have strived to reach every single one of my goals and I have met them. I have all A’s and was named all district and all region most valuable player in basketball.

Everything that I am doing now is for me and my siblings and I refuse to give up on my dreams. Now that senior year is almost over and I get to walk the stage soon, I pledge to finish out strong. I am going to complete this school year with a 3.2 GPA and all A’s. After accomplishing these goals I will further my education at Middle Tennessee State University where I will then major in exercise science and become a physical therapy technician.


PROJECT GRAD says “thank you” to our volunteers

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Next week (April. 12 – 18) is “National Volunteer Week” and we would like to take a few minutes to say thank you to our volunteers who help us in so many ways!  Again thank you for all you do to make a difference in the life of a child.

Dogwood’s Young Leadership Group

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Dogwood Leadership Club is a group of 5th graders who were nominated by their classroom teachers.  Teachers chose students based on their potential to be a leader among peers. Students have learned about communicating, setting goals, college and career awareness just to name a few. Submitted by Alison King

Congratulations to Ronni Chandler

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

Ronni Chandler (PGK Executive Director) recently participated in and graduated from the Executive Leadership Program for Nonprofit Organizations hosted by the University of Georgia J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, The Georgia State University Andrew Young School of Policy Studies and the Georgia Tech Institute for Leadership Studies.

More about the program – The Executive Leadership Program for Nonprofit Organizations (ELPNO) is a professional development program for upcoming executives and leaders in the nonprofit sector. It offers an engaging format that provides opportunities for peers to translate theory into practice and concepts into strategies that are relevant, immediately practical, and useable in their work.”  (

Ronni learned a wealth of information as a participant in the program that will prove valuable to her as Executive Director of Project GRAD Knoxville.

We are very proud of Ronni and congratulate her on this great accomplishment.

To learn more about The Executive Leadership Program visit their website at When you visit, you will have the opportunity to view more pictures of the Class of 2015.

Picture of the graduating ELPNO Class of 2015


Graduates of the Executive Leadership Program for Nonprofit Organizations

Graduates of the Executive Leadership Program for Nonprofit Organizations



Friday, February 27th, 2015

The 2015 Scholars Celebration Dinner will be held on Sunday, April 26, 2015. The event will be held at the Knoxville Convention Center beginning at 5:00 p.m. (doors open at 4:30). What an exciting evening for the Class of 2015 Scholars!