The Women’s Fund of East Tennessee has awarded a $10,000 grant to Tusculum College for a first generation college student mentoring program. Representatives of the Women’s Fund presented the funds to representatives of the college at a luncheon on the Greeneville campus in June.
The Women’s Fund of East Tennessee will provide funding for the proposed program’s guest speakers and honorariums, Tusculum College student participants, interview wardrobe, supplies, meals, cultural events and transportation expenses.
The grant will provide for 18 female high school students, who come from low income families and would be their family’s first generation to attend college, to participate in a five-day residential, mentored institute at Tusculum College. Students from Carter, Cocke, Greene and Unicoi counties will be eligible. The program is called the Women’s Search for Success and Self-Sufficiency.
Tusculum College is working with its Talent Search program to expand the Women’s Search for Success and Self-Sufficiency program. The Talent Search program seeks to empower underrepresented participants with the tools to achieve academic and personal success. The program accomplishes this goal through interventions to assist low-income and first-generation participants to finish high school, enter, and complete a program of post-secondary education.
The goal of the Women’s Search for Success and Self-Sufficiency program is to help girls in East Tennessee learn various life, education, and work-related skills. Various workshops are implemented to instruct participants in areas such as financial literacy, basic social skills, cognitive skills, job- and college-searching, basic employment skills and employment transitions.
Talent Search professional staff, Arts Outreach staff, Tusculum College’s Financial Aid and Career Services staff, Student Support Services, area financial advisors, etiquette coaches, hair and make-up specialists, health department officials and law enforcement officials will conduct the workshops training and activities.
“Tusculum College has a long history of serving first generation college students and that commitment is stronger than ever with the establishment of our summer institute,” said Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College.
According to Dr. Moody, 75 percent of Tusculum College students call Appalachia home, 46 percent are the first in their family to attend college and 66 percent are Pell Grant eligible, the students with the greatest financial need.
“These students need the mentoring and support a small college like Tusculum can provide,” said Moody.
Jeanne Stokes, director of the TRIO programs who will coordinate the new program said, “This is a wonderful opportunity to introduce our students to different career options, teambuilding activities and cultural enrichment. We plan for the students to leave with a sense of self- sufficiency that will enable them to be successful as they complete high school and enter and complete college.”
Because of the partnership with the Talent Search program, participants in the Women’s Search for Success and Self-Sufficiency will continue to be mentored, monitored, and guided throughout high school and college by professional staff and identified mentors. Skill attainments will be measured utilizing pre- and post-tests. A pre-test will be administered at the beginning of the summer institute and a post-test and the end of the week-long institute. Items on the test will cover topics including personal appearance and hygiene, personal safety, leadership, communication, and critical thinking skills, and financial literacy.
The Women’s Fund provided grants to Haven House, New Opportunity School for Women, Red Legacy Recovery, Servolution, The Next Door and Tusculum College.
For more information or to donate to the Women’s Fund, visit www.womensfundetn.org or call 865-524-1223.
From left are Heather Patchett, vice president of institutional advancement for Tusculum College; Legacy Member Linda Spence, research and grants committee for the Women’s Fund; Women’s Fund Founder Nita Summers, research and grants committee for the Women’s Fund; Women's Fund Founder Judy Ingala; Women's Fund Founder Cynthia Burnley, chair of the research and grants committee; Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College; Women’s Fund Founder Nikki Niswonger; Jeanne Stokes, director of TRIO program; Alisha Roberson of Hampton; Ali Giovannelli of Unicoi; Lindsey Hixson of Limestone, and Michelle Arbogast, associate director of foundation and donor relations at Tusculum College.