New $10,000 Scholarships Reward Students for Nonprofit Work

Beginning with the Fall 2015 semester, Southern will offer scholarships which give freshmen and sophomores the opportunity to earn $10,000 a year while gaining practical skills related to their major or career interests. The Promise Grant program requires only that students have access to reliable transportation, work 15 hours a week, and maintain a 2.75 GPA.

The program utilizes contributions from Chattanooga businesses to fund work by Southern students with local nonprofits. This allows companies to invest in themselves—a healthy city is always good for business—and to be compassionate corporate stewards at the same time. Southern’s reputation for high caliber students completes this equation, as both the investors and the nonprofits have confidence in the level of work being accomplished.

The grant was developed and pilot tested last year, based on similar programs managed by Southern for high school and elementary students (Assist and Partnering for Eternity). Biomedical major Claude Delille was in her first year of Adventist education and things were going well, but after the fall semester she wasn’t sure if finances would allow her to continue. That same week, she got a call about joining the Promise Grant program and began working with READ 20, a local nonprofit advocating for increased early childhood literacy.

Social work major Annissa Montesso was also involved in the pilot. She helped at the Chattanooga Area Food Bank and credits the experience with sharpening her career focus. While the scholarships and co-curricular learning are a blessing for Southern students, the benefits of this program extend both ways.

“Annissa was a dream to work with and we would definitely do it again,” said Marisa Ogles, director of Development and Communications at the food bank.

The maximum amount of students admitted to the program each year will depend on availability of funds, but administrators expect at least 25 students to participate this year. To learn more about the program, call (423) 236-2560 or email 

Cassie Matchim Story by Cassie Matchim Published: Last Edited:

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