This summer we partnered with an organization known as Project Grad, to serve inner city Knoxville high school students and work with them to focus on their future career opportunities. We are so grateful not only for the experience that Project Grad granted our intern, Olivia, but also for having her as a part of our team.

If you are not familiar with Project Grad, it is a local organization that focuses on opening up the future for the students involved in it. They invest in creating change in the community through education and educational opportunities. Project Grad is centered around college and careers. They work with students to expand their knowledge on both college and future careers, to motivate them for what lies ahead of them. Project Grad also works with students to push them and guide them with their academics, in order to make sure they are able to reach their goals of going to college and finding a career path. Project Grad emphasizes community engagement as well, providing these kids experience within the classroom and outside of it. As members of Project Grad, the students are required to maintain a specific grade point average and partake in different programs within Project Grad.

One specific program with the organization is called Hands on the Future. This program is designed to set these kids up with internships and to begin gaining experience in the work place. Prior to being selected for Hands on the Future, the students took part in several mock interviews, preparing them for interviewing for the internship. They also were required to take several professionalism courses. Once their requirements had been met, Hands on the Future set them up with 3 interviews with different participating companies. From there, they were matched with the company that was best fitting for both the student and the company.

This process is what brought Olivia to us! We have been so fortunate to have Olivia interning with us the past 6 weeks. Olivia will be a senior at a local Knoxville high school this fall and is on track to graduate in May of 2019. During her high school years Olivia has challenged herself by taking five honors courses, two AP courses, and one dual credit course. She is a member of several extra-curricular activities, including the Robotics Club, on which she is currently the co-captain of the team. Because Olivia loves doing hands on activities, she dreams of becoming a mechanical engineer one day.

Olivia was hard working and willing. She jumped right in wherever and was eager to learn. We are proud of the way she pushed herself this summer to gain experience and further the steps needed to making her dreams of going to college and becoming a mechanical engineer a reality.

Thank you Project Grad for pairing Olivia with us, and thank you Olivia for your time with The IT Company!