Thousands Of Students At Risk Of Not Qualifying For TN Promise Scholarship

Posted at 7:18 PM, Jul 27, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-07 08:42:44-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Eight hours of community service could keep thousands of students from receiving the Tennessee Promise scholarship.

While more than half of the 15,000 students who haven’t completed the requirement are expected to attend a four year college or university, the others could put free tuition at the state’s community colleges and technical schools at stake.

Monday, Graceworks non-profit in Franklin had some extra volunteers.

"I want to go hang out with friends and stuff,” volunteer Daniel Debolt said. “But I have to do this. I have to get my hours in.”

It's all so Debolt can attend Columbia State Community College next month for free. The Tennessee Promise requires students to complete eight hours of community service to qualify for the scholarship.

“It's better than just sitting at your house watching TV doing something,” Tennessee Promise volunteer Bennett Simpson said. “All these kids are getting backpacks full of school supplies.”

The United Way is helping students find service opportunities.

“They call a little bit panicked and say oh my gosh I didn't realize August first was here this quick,” Pam Bryant, President & CEO of the United Way of Williamson County said. “They've been in our community garden painting and landscaping.”

The August first deadline is fast approaching.

“It would be a shame for students who have gotten this far not to complete that one last check list,” Shanna Jackson, Williamson County Dean of Columbia State Community College said.

Who knows, lending a helping hand may be something the students actually enjoy.

“It's maybe two days of my summer that I work from 10 am until 2 pm,” Debolt said. “That's not much to ask for.”

The United Way of Williamson County continues to help students find service opportunities. Just call 615-771-2312