Meet TN’s Promising Students

Eric, a class of 2016 graduate, emigrated from Africa to America before he began the ninth grade. After moving to America, Eric dealt with the struggles of adapting to a new culture, learning English and succeeding in his English speaking high school. Today, only four years later, Eric is fluent in English, a high school graduate, and the first person in his family to attend college, thanks to the TN Promise Scholarship.

Like Eric, Makala, another class of 2016 graduate is able to pursue a degree in higher education because of the TN Promise scholarship. Makala’s mom dropped out of high school, raised three kids, returned to school to get her GED and recently graduated from college with honors. While growing up in Detroit college wasn’t on Makala’s radar, but after moving to Tennessee, Makala realized that receiving a college degree, like her mom, could become a reality for her too. Today, thanks to the TN Promise, Makala is following in her mom’s footsteps and heading to college to pursue a degree in nursing.

In the fall of 2016 nearly 20,000 unique freshman, like Eric and Makala, will enter into community colleges and other TSAC institutions across the state thanks to the TN Promise scholarship. The TN Promise promises easier access to higher education for every TN student who desires to pursue a 2-year degree. The TN Promise isn’t awarded based on merit or socioeconomic status. It is a last dollar scholarship, which means it covers all tuition and fees that remain after students receive their financial aid packages.

The Promise not only helps alleviate college students’ financial burdens, but it also helps students reach their goals. We, the TN Achieves staff, recently sat down with Eric, Makala and other unique Promise scholarship recipients at Nashville State Community College’s Summer Bridge Program to learn more about how the TN Promise is helping them.

We asked students to fill in the sentence: “The TN Promise is helping me _____,” and here are some of their answers:

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If you’d like to see the official spotlight video of the students you can watch it here.

Update: Here is a student spotlight video filmed at Columbia State’s bridge program.

Throughout the summer we will be interviewing more Class of 2016 TN Achieves and TN Promise students, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@TNAchieves, #TNAchievesSpotlight) to learn more about our students’ stories and to meet more promising students!

Are you a class of 2016 or class of 2015 promise scholarship student who’d like to be spotlighted by us in the future? For more info on how you can be spotlighted email, or submit your story on the website!

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