The Women’s Fund of East Tennessee has awarded an $11,000 grant to Tusculum College for a first generation college student mentoring program.
The grant was funded through the East Tennessee Foundation and was part of $80,000 in grants awarded by the Women’s Fund to six local organizations that work to improve the lives of women and girls.
The grant will provide for 18 rising high school juniors, who come from low income families and would be their family’s first generation to attend college, to participate in a six-day residential, mentored institute at Tusculum College. Students from Carter, Cocke, Greene and Unicoi counties will be eligible. The new program will be called the Women’s Search for Success and Self-Sufficiency.
“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, and approximately 35 percent of Tusculum’s students are first-generation, with parents who have no college experience.
“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.”
The Women’s Fund provided grants to Haven House, New Opportunity School for Women, Red Legacy Recovery, Servolution, The Next Door and Tusculum College.
“We selected these organizations with a process including letters of intent, workshops and on-site visits; and we invited membership to come in and walk through the agencies,” said Terry Morgan, director of the Women’s Fund of East Tennessee.
“After we did the research, we wanted to use the grant to focus on three priorities: women’s access to education and developing life and work skills,” said Morgan.
For more information or to donate to the Women’s Fund, visit www.womensfundetn.org or call 865-524-1223.