Talent Dividend Work

Graduate Memphis will enroll 200 people this year

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Graduate Memphis is a college resource center for adults who want to go back to school. Launched last July by the Memphis Talent Dividend: College Attainment Initiative (a program of Leadership Memphis), they currently have 68 people enrolled, 180 being advised, 60 currently in school, one graduate, and by the end of 2013 will have 200 enrolled. Within the first nine months of the program, 786 interested people contacted them.

"The purpose is to help adults make a plan for education, pick the right school and program, help secure financial aid, help with the FAFSA and identify other sources of aid aside from the government, and then stay with them through graduation," says Fred Turverey, Director of Memphis Talent Dividend. They also offer workshops once a month on topics relevant to adults returning to school, and there is never any charge to the learner: all of the Graduate Memphis services are absolutely free.
Other Memphis Talent Dividend initiatives include the SUCCESS High School Action Initiative and the SUCCESS Advising Program. The High School Action Initiative connects high schools with executive leaders whose objective was to carry out initiatives and work alongside school staff to help the principal achieve specific goals or improve the school's plan. The emphasis is on continuing education beyond high school. The program, which was new last year, will continue this year with more structure and permanence in all eight pilot schools.
The SUCCESS Advising Program, a partnership between the University of Memphis and the Plough Foundation, advises students in their first year after high school. They accept students who are going to school and some who think they don't want to, with the hopes that the latter group will change their minds. The program works on getting them into their school of choice and improve the drop rates of college freshman. The advisors who work with these students are the people they can go to and trust for reliable answers and guidance.
Leadership Memphis has also run FAFSA campaigns for the last two years, which has led to a higher FAFSA completion rate in Memphis which they will continue to work on.

Writer: Nicole Rupersburg 
Source: Fred Turverey, Director of Memphis Talent Dividend
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