Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

Ronni Chandler will be the Keynote Speaker for Pellissippi State’s Commencement

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

Our very own Ronni Chandler (PGK Executive Director) will be the keynote speaker for Pellissippi State Community College’s Spring Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 9, 2015.

Ronni is a former employee of the college and an alumna – What an honor!!!!!

Read more about it by clicking on this link:

2015 Annual Scholars Celebration Dinner

Friday, May 1st, 2015

It was a very special night at the Annual Scholars Celebration Dinner that was held on Sunday evening. More than 500 people were in attendance as Austin-East and Fulton High School scholars were honored for their accomplishments and celebrated because they have met all the requirements to earn the Project GRAD scholarship.

We were glad to have Lori Tucker as the Mistress of Ceremonies this year who did a fine job. Project GRAD Board Chair Buzz Thomas (President, Great Schools Partnership) welcomed everyone and then did the invocation in Sam Brown’s absence. Scholars Briana Carter (Austin-East) and Tony Gunn (Fulton) reflected on their educational journey. GRAD Scholar Blakely Geames is a GRAD scholar attending the University of Tennessee who spoke to the Class of 2015 and talked about what to expect after graduation.

Jerry Hodges (former Executive Director of Project GRAD Knoxville) was this year’s “Caught Doing Right Award” winner and what a surprise it was for him. Jerry initiated this award eleven years ago to recognize those who go above and beyond to enhance the lives of children and are “caught doing right for kids!” Jerry retired from Project GRAD in October and returned to Knoxville to attend the Celebration Dinner.

A chorus of community leaders and teachers came together to sing the closing selection as the program came to an end. The chorus sang “Something Inside So Strong” which is a selection to encourage the scholars as they prepare to move to the next level of their lives when they graduate from high school.

Congrats Class of 2015.

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)

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