KNOXVILLE, TN (July 28, 2020) – Project GRAD supporters stepped up in a big way this month for the 3rd annual WATE Project GRAD Laptop Telethon, topping all previous totals and surpassing the telethon’s original goal.
Last year the WATE Project GRAD Laptop Telethon brought in more than $43,000 to purchase laptops for 126 Project GRAD scholars entering postsecondary education. With 147 A-E and Fulton graduates eligible for Project GRAD scholarships this year, and with most schools shifting to more online teaching due to COVID 19, this year’s need is even greater than in previous years.
To date, this year’s telethon has brought in $75,431.92 (and counting) to buy laptops for Austin-East and Fulton high school graduates heading to college or technical school this year.
Fred Lowery, Austin-East class of 1988, made a $25,000 match challenge on received donations, which was met. Over the years, he has made regular donations to his alma-mater. Lowery is the senior vice president at Thermo Fisher Scientific based in Massachusetts, on the front lines of COVID-19 through research and testing.
Congratulations to the Austin-East class of 2008 for winning the WATE sponsored “Battle of the Birds,” which is a friendly fundraising competition between alum Fulton Falcons and A-E Roadrunners sponsored by WATE.
Ronni Chandler, Project GRAD Knoxville’s executive director expresses her appreciation to the donors who support Project GRAD and its scholars. Chandler stated, “On behalf of these excited and grateful young people, THANK YOU! In the midst of the worst pandemic in a century, generous people opened their hearts to give as they were able—from one dollar to several thousand—to provide the essential tool of a laptop to Austin-East and Fulton 2020 GRAD Scholarship recipients enrolling in higher education.”
ProjGRAD scholars are graduates from Austin East and Fulton High Schools who are entering colleges, technical training, and universities across the state. They are not eligible for the Knox County School’s Chromebook program, which is designated for KCS students in K-12 grades. The Project GRAD laptop project supports its scholars through their journey of secondary education.
Donations for laptops are still being accepted. If you’d like to donate, please go to https://knoxed.org/donate/ and designate your gift for the laptop telethon.
ABOUT PROJECT GRAD: Project GRAD Knoxville, established 2001, is a nationally recognized K-16 (elementary through postsecondary) education program known for helping to improve high school completion and postsecondary degree attainment among students from disadvantaged circumstances. Project GRAD Knoxville is supported by the Knox Education Foundation, a 501c3 organization that strengthens public education through advocacy, investment, community resources and programs that empower every student to excel. To learn more about Project GRAD, go to www.projectgradknoxville.org.