Service is becoming an important part of Jeremiah Johnson’s education.
“You do not really think about all the needs in the community until you serve in the community,” said Johnson, a Roane State Community College freshman. “It has opened me up to things. It has helped me as a person.”
Johnson receives the tnAchieves scholarship, which offers two years of community college tuition-free. The statewide Tennessee Promise program was based on tnAchieves.
All students who receive tnAchieves or Tennessee Promise scholarships are required to complete eight hours of community service for each semester of college. To help students meet the requirement, Roane State recently hosted a Tennessee Promise day in the college’s community garden, located near the main campus in Harriman.
“I like community service, giving back to people,” said Angelo Ferrante, a Roane County High School senior and Tennessee Promise student who will attend Roane State in the fall.
Half of the bounty from Roane State’s Community Garden is donated to local charities to help feed the needy. On Tennessee Promise day in the garden, students braved the rain as they picked up rocks, pulled old okra plants, spread mulch, and planted potatoes and onions.
Shelley Edwards, a Rockwood High School senior, plans to use Tennessee Promise at Roane State in the fall. She said she feels a responsibility to serve her community.
“My sister went to Roane State, and she loved it,” she said. “Why not use Tennessee Promise since they gave us this great opportunity? I am grateful to be able to get a college education, and I feel like it’s my duty to give back.”
Tennessee Promise students must complete eight hours of community service by August 1. The Roane State Community Garden can always use volunteers. Students interested in helping with the garden are encouraged to contact Mare Thomas at (865) 354-3000, ext. 4473, or [email protected].