The Future Ready Institutes, Hamilton County Schools' largest effort to prepare students for life after high schools, were presented the Community Impact Award by the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga at the group's Equal Opportunity Breakfast on Oct. 30.

The institutes kicked off in August, with small learning communities focused around an industry theme embedded in 13 of the district's high schools.

"This is a tremendous honor we received today from The Urban League of Greater Chattanooga," said Blake Freeman, director of the Future Ready Institutes for the district, in a statement. "We welcome more business and industry leaders to join us as we prepare our graduates and our community for a brighter future with Future Ready Institutes."

The Urban League's Equal Opportunity Day educates the public and corporate and civic leaders about the challenges of achieving equality and honors local corporations, organizations and individuals that champion equal opportunities for minorities, women and other underserved communities, according to a news release.

Entrepreneurship program taking student applications

Launch Tennessee announced the new Discover Entrepreneurship Program, designed to help high school students gain entrepreneurial and business skills last week. Applications are open for high schools interested in hosting one of three partner programs including DevCatalyst, LAUNCHing Bright Ideas and Fathom.

"A critical component of LaunchTN's mission is to create a robust talent pipeline to fill existing and future needs of Tennessee companies." said Morgan Dent, talent manager at LaunchTN, in a statement. "The Discover Entrepreneurship Program provides an opportunity for high school students to gain insight into the entrepreneurial process, meet with mentors and broaden their business skill sets, in hopes of preparing them for successful careers in the future."

Applications are now open through Dec. 3 for Tennessee high schools. Host school applicants should be able to provide a facilitator to be trained by LaunchTN, space and time for the course, laptops for participants, and volunteers to act as mentors and judges.

For more information about the program or to apply, visit

Chattanooga 2.0 celebrates Hamilton County principals

Throughout October, in honor of National Principals Month, Chattanooga 2.0 received more than 750 'Thank You" note submissions from students, teachers, parents, and community members to our Hamilton County principals.

"Principals shape the culture of our schools by creating an environment that supports academic excellence and innovation for both teachers and students," says Sarah Morgan, president of The Benwood Foundation and member of the Chattanooga 2.0 Great Teachers Great Leaders action team, in a statement. "It is crucial that we provide our school leaders the training, resources, and support to help them meet these high expectations and to recognize them for their dedication and achievements."

Chattanooga 2.0 has recognized the importance of empowering school leaders, and this priority area, along with the priority of supporting great teachers in every school and classroom, is what led to the creation of the Great Teachers, Great Leaders action team.

"We are thrilled with the number of 'Thank You' notes submitted to our incredible Hamilton County principals," said Jennifer Andrews, program and engagement manager for Chattanooga 2.0, in a statement. "Our principals and school leaders deserve to be recognized for their tireless efforts in pursuit of excellence, the progress our schools are making daily, and the impact they have on each child in our community."

The thank you notes were delivered to principals, and the names of the 64 teachers who submitted messages were entered into a raffle for prizes.

Scholarships being offered in ACE fields

The Architecture, Construction and Engineering Mentor Program of Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia now is accepting scholarship applications from students who intend on pursuing higher education in the three ACE fields.

ACE is an after-school mentoring program in which high school students have the opportunity to meet with architects, engineers and builders to learn about careers in the design and construction industry. This school year, students have visited the Edney Building, learned about Chattanooga's Innovation District and started work on their project — the redevelopment of the City Hall Annex in Chattanooga.

"The ACE Mentor program encourages students to further their interest and education in the industry. By supporting ACE Alumni, the program contributes to fulfilling future industry work force needs, as well as increasing the diversity of that work force. Your financial support goes directly to students, helping them achieve their goals," said Jim Williamson, current board president and vice president of River City Company, in a statement.

For more information on ACE, including student participation, mentoring and sponsorships, contact Breanne Kintz at