Archive for the ‘Project GRAD Knoxville News’ Category

2014 Annual Scholars Celebration Dinner Held

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

The 2014 Annual Scholars Celebration Dinner was another success.

We were honored to have Tearsa Smith and Bo Williams (WATE TV anchors) to emcee the program this and they were dynamic as they kept the crowd entertained and energized.

A number is scholars who have successfully graduated from college participated in the program this year. It was great to have these scholars return to Project GRAD and give back by serving on the program in some capacity or by imparting wisdom by sharing their testimony with them. Shawn Hatmaker (Class of 2007 GRAD Scholar, Austin East Magnet High School) shared wise advice with the graduating seniors as he talked about the difference the Project GRAD continues to make in his life even following graduation from college. Shawn graduated from Tennessee State University in 2011 with a degree in Political Science and a focus on international relations and terrorist studies. He is presently working for Representative Timothy Hill as an Executive Assistant and is working to be certified in ministry as a Pastor. Other scholars on program were Jonathan Blair (Class of 2008 Fulton High School) and Christie Banks (Class of 2007, Fulton High School).

There’s always suspense surrounding the person selected to receive the “Caught Doing Right For Kids” Award each year. The award recipient this year was equally surprised and very deserving of the honor. Rosalyn Tillman was the award winner this year and she was caught completely by surprised but was also very happy to receive the award that recognized her for service to kids and for always being caught doing what’s right for kids. Dean Tillman (as she is affectionately known) has been the Dean/Principal of the Summer Institute at Pellissippi State since it began and is responsible for the success of the program.

Cody and Kensey Zimmerman closed the program with a beautiful musical selection. Kensey is a Class of 2007  GRAD scholar from Fulton High School. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies in 2011 from the University of Tennessee. In 2013 she graduated with a Master’s in Communication and Information with a concentration in Communication Studies from the University of Tennessee also.

There were 140 Scholars in this graduating class that met all qualifications of the GRAD scholarship and will be attending colleges/universities in several states this fall. Congratulations Class of 2014 Scholarship Recipients.

Photos of the dinner wp-content/gallery/2014-scholars-celebration-dinner

Happy 4th of July

Friday, July 4th, 2014

Project GRAD offices are closed for the 4th of July and will re-open on Monday, July 7th.

College and Career Month 2014

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Busy month with College and Career activities in February. Schools have held mini college fairs, college and career dress up days, invited special guest to speak to students about their careers, and held ACT tutoring sessions just to mention a few. This has been an exciting month!

2013 “WALK” was a “SUCCESS”

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Volunteers came out on a beautiful Saturday morning to participate in this year’s “Walk For Success.”

It was a great day and many of the volunteers reported having SUCCESSFUL visits with students and their parents.

Thank you to everyone who came out on Saturday and gave of your time for this event. We could not have done it without you.

Schools participating in the “Walk” were Beaumont, Christenberry, Sarah Moore Greene, Spring Hill, Vine Middle, and Whittle Springs.



Monday, July 1st, 2013

High school students successfully completed the 2013 Summer Institutes in June. Summer Institutes were held at the University of Tennessee for rising juniors and at Pellissippi State Community College for rising sophomores from Austin-East and Fulton High Schools.  Pellissippi State’s Institute began on Wednesday, May 29th  with approximately 145 students  in attendance and concluded on Wednesday June 19th. At the University of Tennessee’s Institute, 146 students were divided into two groups and designated a week to participate in the Institute and have the opportunity to experience residential living on a college campus.


Students attending the University of Tennessee Institute experienced life on a college and woke early each morning after staying up late to work on homework and a class project. Eight academic tracks were offered to students: Business and Entrepreneurship; Communications; Public Health; Honors; Sports and Recreation Management; Sports Science; STEM and Vocation  in addition to core subjects  Math, English and college research skills. During closing ceremonies, class members from each track made a presentation to highlight what they learned during the week. In summary, students learned how to conduct a SWOT analysis and the purpose of such an instrument in business and in Communications the students learned the finer points of public speaking to include tips on preparing for a speech and effectively speaking to an audience.

Students also served the community by volunteering at several local organizations:  SEEED (Socially Equal Energy Efficient Development –,  Odd Fellows Cemetery where they cleaned debris, Knox Area Rescue Ministries, and Phyllis Wheatley YWCA.


Approximately 150 rising sophomores participated in the Summer Institute at Pellissippi State Community College. Students attending Pellissippi State rose early each morning to commute to the Hardin Valley campus.

The PSCC Institute was divided into four academes: (1) Working Together to Live Together where students designed a new housing community; (2) GreenSTEM Academy where students created green roofs (gardens on top of roofs) using their English, Math, Science and Art skills; (3) RoboNation Academy explored the world of robotics and created fully functioning robots; (4) The Alternative Energy Academy used solar power as an alternative energy source to build machines.

At the closing ceremony, Dr. Anthony Wise congratulated students for successfully completing the Institute and encouraged them to “dream about where you are going to be and what you want to do” and reminded them to reflect on what you learned during this experience.”

Congratulations Scholars!

Thank you to Pellissippi State Community College and the University of Tennessee for hosting the Summer Institutes and for your hard work and dedication.


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