Project GRAD teaches students with community service

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – During the summer, Project GRAD at Pellissippi State offers high school students a glimpse of college life through its summer institutes. But education isn’t just limited to the classroom. Students are getting life skills through community service.

At the Love Kitchen in Knoxville, more than 2,000 meals are made each week to feed the hungry. That means a lot of helping hands are needed to cook, prepare and package all of the food. So students suited up in aprons and gloves to get ready for work.

Patrick Riggins, executive director of the Love Kitchen said, “This is what the Love Kitchen is founded on, volunteers.”

Opportunities like this have students realizing what they’re learning outside the classroom is just as important as what they learn inside.

“You don’t just need to know 12X12 or how to read or how to write. But you also need to know life skills,” said DeAjunay Brawner, a Project GRAD student.

Brawner is a student from Austin-East High School. She’s giving up a few hours of her day to make a difference.

“It’s good that we’re here helping so other people can eat,” said Brawner. “Some of them don’t know where their next meal is coming from.”

The staff at the Love Kitchen hopes service like this will inspire teens to get involved in the community.

“They’re getting started on a route to help the community and helping other people and this is always a good thing to do,” said Riggins. “Hopefully it will give them something that they learn from and carry on throughout their whole lives.”

Brawner and her classmates plan to help others as much as they can.

Project GRAD offers students a scholarship worth $4,000. To qualify for the scholarship, students must complete two summer institute sessions and graduate within four years and have at least a 2.5 grade point average.

The Love Kitchen in Knoxville is in need of donations such as meat. To find out how you can donate: https://www.thelovekitchen.org/donate/

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