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Education creates opportunity

Career plans provide structure

Coaching delivers inspiration

Incentives drive performance

Our Partners

Goizueta Business School logo
Walmart logo
EY logo
Corcentric logo
Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP logo
Gypsum Management & Supply, Inc. logo
npc connect logo
Benevity logo
Greene County School System logo
Greene College & Career Academy logo
Greene County High School logo

Our Story

In 1999, Founder Dave Thillen volunteered to build his first Habitat for Humanity home in Greene County, Georgia and launched his legacy with one small step: refurbishing and installing community donated computers into every new Habitat home. Dave recalls the journey that soon took him to installing more than 30 computers and a network to connect them to the internet at the Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club of Greensboro. In short order, Dave began to provide individualized life coaching for every child living in the Habitat homes and rewarding their milestone achievements with scholarship dollars. “The momentum quickly built, and I never looked back”.

Witnessing the raw power of encouragement, goal setting, and tangible rewards, Dave realized how every student’s potential and self-worth would be amplified in the right setting. The community took notice of his successes, and in 2019, Greene County High School asked Dave to implement the “Thillen Plan” for every enrolled student. In 2020, Dave and Elaine Thillen founded the Thillen Education Foundation as a Georgia registered 501 (c)(3) nonprofit and partnered with Greene College and Career Academy to put in motion an innovative, coaching, scholarship, and financial assistance initiative that will enrich the lives of thousands of Greene County students for years to come.

John Ellenberg and Dave Thillen


In a 10-month school year, students schedule appointments 4,000 times.


Since partnering with Thillen Education Foundation, discipline referrals have decreased by 60%.

Our Plan Works


130 coaches are meeting with the entire Greene County High School population.

A student holds two Dave Dollars

Join Our Impact

Experience the rewards of preparing a hard-working teen for college, the workforce, or military service, and ensuring a guided, financially-assisted path to their future.

Become a Partner

Activate your business mission by partnering with us to advance student opportunity through earned financial assistance and respectful diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

A student and teacher with face shields

Sign Up For Events

Nothing is more exciting than seeing our kids engaging with our volunteer life coaches. Join us for our next in-person event! 

Ways to

What We've Been Up To

Greene College & Career Academy Students



  • TEF Board Meeting: June, 2023
    Tue, Jun 13
    Greene County High School
    Jun 13, 12:00 PM
    Greene County High School, 1002 S Main St, Greensboro, GA 30642
    March board meeting to review outstanding and new business.