CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB)- A scholarship program funded by The Allan Jones Foundation made it possible for 175 local students to attend college free of charge in 2012 – and the philanthropist wants more students to benefit next year.
Jones, the CEO and founder of Check Into Cash, Inc., made national headlines in 2011 when he partnered with the non-profit tnAchieves organization to launch its scholarship and mentoring program in all three Bradley County high schools - Bradley Central High, Cleveland High School and Walker Valley High School. The result was the bradleyAchieves program.
"We accomplished our goal of giving every student in Bradley County the chance to attend college without worrying about the cost," said Jones. "We want students to know that this opportunity is now available again so as many of them can benefit as possible."
bradleyAchieves applications are available to the graduating Class of 2013 now at www.tnachieves.org. Students can also visit their guidance office for more details. The deadline to apply is Oct. 12.
Jones said his father always told him to give more than his fair share, and as a result he believes anyone who is successful owes it to the community to give back.
"I urge others in Tennessee to join me in partnering with tnAchieves to change the future," he said.
Jones said the tnAchieves program changes the lives of students and families and creates a better educated and stronger workforce for Cleveland and Bradley County.
While all students are eligible for bradleyAchieves, the program focuses primarily on students who are the first in their families to go to college. Students who benefit from the Jones' scholarship are required to keep a minimum 2.0 GPA and perform eight hours of community service.
Gov. Bill Haslam praised Jones' efforts in 2011.
"This is a very generous gift that directly impacts Cleveland and Bradley County students and the entire community," Haslam said. "I am proud of this program and appreciate Allan's support to make it a reality in Southeast Tennessee. My goal is for Tennessee to be the No.1 location in the Southeast for job growth, and having an educated workforce is a key element to our success."
Carl Hite, President of Cleveland State Community College, agreed with Haslam and said the Jones scholarship provides vital help to students who otherwise would struggle to pay for a college education.
"This is a great thing for Bradley County," Hite said.
For more information on bradleyAchieves and the Oct. 12 deadline, contact Michael Stokes, Vice President of Student Services at Cleveland State at (423) 478-6211 or visit www.tnachieves.org.