Opportunity to Thrive


All children in America deserve a quality education that will prepare them for college, work and life.

Education reform and academic achievement are about much more than what happens in the classroom. Our Education and Youth programs work to improve educational opportunities for at-risk students to support their academic achievement, encourage civic involvement through service learning and contribute to their cultural and emotional development.

We work to ensure all students, regardless of ZIP code, income, race or ethnicity, are well-taught and held to the same high standards that align with college and work expectations, and that all students have access to high-quality educational content, resources and opportunities essential to ensure post-secondary success.

Shoes for School

For $25, you can give a child confidence in the classroom.

Shoes for School is an annual event that provides new shoes and school supplies for area children. These back-to-school basics give students stability and boost their self-esteem so that they can successfully start a new year in the classroom.

We work with other nonprofits to identify and register children ages 5-12 who need the most assistance. The coordination and costs are great, but the satisfaction of seeing students’ smiling faces at the event and knowing that they will be more at ease with their peers is priceless.

Education and Youth Programs

Check back in January to apply for the 2024-2025 School year!

National Achievers Society (NAS)

National Achievers Society (NAS) was established to identify and motivate academically achieving minority high school students and increase the pool of students who are prepared, motivated and qualified for higher education. NAS is open to students in grades 10-12 with a 3.0 or higher cumulative grade point average, particularly to African-American youth and other youth of color . The 2022-2023 NAS cohort had 88 total scholars with 32 returning., representing every high school in Knox County, as well as Oak Ridge and Jefferson County high schools. NAS scholars and parents participate throughout the school year in weekend activities, projects and initiatives that enhance their cultural, academic and college preparatory experience in a three-year experience from their sophomore through senior year.                                                           

Project Ready

Project Ready is an innovative and unique college access program that provides a comprehensive, research-based approach to preparing young people and families for the challenges and promise of higher education. Project Ready is geared to reach the whole student and is comprised of three key components: Academic Development, Social Development and Cultural and Global Awareness. Students may enter the program as early as middle school and participate throughout their high school career.


For more information and to apply to be a Project Ready mentor please visit our mentor hub today by clicking the link!

Education and Youth programs are funded in part by:

  • Comcast
  • National Urban League
  • State Farm Foundation
  • East Tennessee Foundation

For additional information, call 865-524-5511, ext. 242 or email [email protected].