What is Thrive?

Tennessee has received national attention for our work to make college more affordable through initiatives like HOPE and Tennessee Promise. More than almost any other factor, a postsecondary degree is the ticket to achieving social and economic mobility, yet too few students of color and from low-income backgrounds are able to enroll in, afford, and complete college.

The Thrive Network is a new year-long project of The Education Trust in Tennessee that aims to equip Black and Latino students, and community organizations serving these students, with tools and resources to identify and advance proven strategies to increase the number Black and Latino students progressing to postsecondary education.

Guiding Principles

How does the path to college work today and is it serving students well?

Step 01: Discover

We will uncover what supports, processes, and tools are available in Tennessee’s existing college access landscape by examining data and uplifting students’ stories.

What strategies can we use to improve the path to college for marginalized students?

Step 02: Investigate

We will explore data-driven best practices, occurring across Tennessee and throughout the country, to improve the path to postsecondary for historically excluded students.

How can we champion policies and programs to improve college access in Tennessee?

Step 03: Advance

We will advocate for the implementation of a set of proven strategies to improve the college access process for students of color and those from low income backgrounds. We’ll champion these recommendations both at the district level and statewide.

Thrive Fellows

The Education Trust in Tennessee invites current Tennessee freshmen (first year) to juniors (third year) attending university or community college to apply to become a Thrive Fellow. The Thrive Fellowship, a year-long program from January–December 2022, aims to build and equip a network of students to connect their personal experiences to concrete data, policies, and practices related to the journey from high school to college completion. Thrive Fellows will build a community with peers across the state, deepen their understanding of education systems and pathways to postsecondary success, and develop leadership and research skills in order to complete a Youth Participatory Action Research Project (YPAR). The Thrive Fellows will be paid a stipend.

Deadline to apply was Jan. 7th by 11:59pm CST

Thrive Community of Practice

The Thrive Community of Practice is an opportunity for organizations working directly with students on post-secondary access or success to receive funding to develop or expand a strategy that ensures more students of color are making it to and through college. The Education Trust in Tennessee will award grants of up to $30,000 to fund projects over a 11-month period. Applications must demonstrate a sound theory of change in their proposed practices or strategies, and they must align with our policy priorities and recommendations. Grant recipients will receive targeted coaching and support as they implement their projects, including workshops on project evaluation, advocacy, communications and policy analysis from experts in the field.

Deadline to apply was Jan. 7th by 11:59pm CST

Meet the Thrive Team

Jamie Clinton

College Access Coordinator

Vilmaris Gonzalez

Senior Manager of Engagement and Operations