tnAchieves is introducing a reimagined mentoring program in 2023 to combat a nine percentage point drop in the state’s college-going rate since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The mentoring program will combine proven, time-tested strategies with virtual tools to allow volunteers to make a greater impact for local students pursuing a post-secondary degree.

The fundamentals of tnAchieves mentoring will remain the same; however, the 2023 mentoring role will introduce several key elements that lead to a longer-lasting, more meaningful mentor/student connection.

• Mentors will return to an in-person meeting with their students. For the first time since the pandemic, mentors will gather at a tnAchieves team meeting in December or January to begin relationship building with their assigned students.

• Mentors will begin work with their 2023 students earlier than ever before. tnAchieves will provide mentors with their student’s contact information in November of 2022, allowing mentors to have earlier access to their students during their college-going planning.

• tnAchieves will continue to leverage familiar virtual tools. During the pandemic, tnAchieves introduced online tools to assist mentors in maintaining effective student connections. The mentoring role will continue to rely on and encourage use of these tools for effective mentoring.

“We are incredibly excited to be announcing these updates to the mentoring program,” said tnAchieves Senior Director of Mentors Tyler Ford. “By providing our volunteers with earlier access to their students and facilitating an in-person meeting opportunity, we believe tnAchieves mentors will play a significant role in reversing some of the downward trends we have seen through the pandemic.”

While tnAchieves mentors will support students in completing requirements and navigating the college-going process, their greatest impact may be in the encouragement and support they provide to students. Ultimately, any individual who has one hour per month and is committed to making a difference in the lives of local students can serve as an effective tnAchieves mentor.

To ensure every student is supported, tnAchieves needs more than 9,000 mentors by October 21, 2022. Mentoring takes just one hour per month and all volunteers are provided a training as well as ongoing support from the tnAchieves team. Those interested in applying or learning more can visit https://tnAchieves.org/mentors.

tnAchieves is a privately‐funded scholarship and mentoring program that seeks to provide an opportunity for every Tennessee student to earn a post‐secondary degree. If you have questions about the tnAchieves mentoring program, please contact Tyler Ford at (309) 945-3446 or tyler@tnAchieves.org.

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