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Impact Update: Second Quarter 2023

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GCHS Graduation 2023

Greene County High School Tiger Stadium bleachers were packed with parents, relatives, well-wishers and -- lots of Career Coaches. The excitement was high as 84 students achieved an important milestone in their young lives. Pictures captured proud smiles and students displaying medallions for their many achievements including Thillen Education Foundation scholarships and career start packages.

two students hold diplomas and balloons

$137,000 Awarded

Students of the Greene County High School class of 2023 received a total of $137,000 in financial assistance, awarded by Thillen Education Foundation. Of the 84 graduates, 26 received additional TEF financial assistance including 23 scholarships, 2 career start packages and 1 military award. Students earned $55,000 in 'Dave Dollar' financial commitments throughout their high school career for academic and professional milestones achieved and $82,000 in "Next Step Funds" through applications for scholarships or career start packages. The distributed funds will help students to continue their education, advance their professional and technical skills, or launch their skilled trade careers.

a student poses with her parents at a graduation ceremony

Top 10 Graduates Receive Laptops

The Top 10 academic graduates received laptops and carrying cases donated by business partner Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP and refurbished by the foundation. These high-end laptops will equip the students with needed technology as they move on to their next step in life.

a group of students show off their awards

Career Coach Summer Social

About 80 Career Coaches and guests attended this year's cookout sponsored by Greene College & Career Academy. Many of the new Career Coaches that will be working with the incoming freshmen had a chance to hear some war stories from the junior and senior Career Coaches about the challenges and personal fulfillment that will be coming their way. Cold refreshments in the outdoor setting added to the fun along with lots of comparing notes on the amazing growth that happens as freshman students advance toward graduation. At the conclusion of the event, several accompanying guests announced that they would like to join our team as Career Coaches.

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Year 6 Career Coaching

The entire management team including the 20 Team Leaders and Greene College & Career Academy staff participated in a planning session to develop an action plan for program improvements in year six. The session began with two questions directed to the participants. 1) Five years ago, when the coaching program began, what do you think people envisioned our program would look like today? And 2) What do you think our program will look like five years from now? Everyone noted the surprise in our many achievements. They had not predicted that the program would grow to 180 Career Coaches, 650 students and over a million dollars raised for financial assistance in just five short years. To plan for continued growth, the group identified action items In the coming school year. Key actions will include student engagement, focus on a new “Workforce Cohort”, new student incentives, strengthened volunteer structure, and implementation of the Salesforce coaches’ portal. The future looks bright for our growing Career Coaching Program.

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New Career Coaches

About 32 brand new Career Coaches will work with the 100 incoming freshmen belonging to the class of 2027. Coaches will attend five formal training sessions before meeting their students on September 12. We are so proud to note that since our program’s launch, our participating Career Coaches to date number 180. What an impressive achievement to empower successful volunteers who work one-on-one with their assigned students from freshman year through to graduation. Together we are working as a team to accomplish the goal of ending generational poverty in Greene County, GA.

three students in graduation attire

2023 Next Step Award Recipients

Scholarship Award Recipients Plan To Attend:

Albany State University

Alabama A&M University

Athens Technical College

Clark Atlanta University

Georgia College & State University

Georgia Southern University

Kennesaw State University

Morehouse College

Savannah State University

Stanford University

Tuskegee University

University of Georgia

University of North Georgia

Entrepreneur Plan Career Starts In:

Construction - Automotive Design

Special Needs Enrichment to Take Place:

Extra Special People (ESP) Camp

Summer Conference Coaching Program Presented

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Mariana Mansfield, CTAE Director for the Greene County School System, presented a session on the Career Coaching Program at the Georgia Association for Career Technical Education 2023 Summer Conference. She informed the attendees of the extraordinary partnership between GCCA and the local community that has been in place for 5 years. People from around the state have shown tremendous interest and curiosity about the program and its sustainability. Ms. Mansfield received very positive feedback regarding the session and the information presented.

Based in Greensboro, GA, the 501(c)(3) Thillen Education Foundation (TEF) is a distinguished community-based earned financial assistance program based on personal coaching and committed to honoring the achievements of over 400 currently enrolled students in Greene College & Career Academy at Greene County High School, a Title I school. Through business sponsorships and individual funding support, TEF strives to break the cycle of systemic poverty by financially enabling post-secondary education and skills training for hardworking students.

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