July 10, 2003

For more information, contact: Kimberly Stark (901) 333-4023 or Marilyn Duncan (901) 333-4247

Home Depot Awards Grant to Southwest Tennessee Community College for Neighborhood Projects

The Home Depot Foundation has awarded Southwest Tennessee Community College’s Foundation a $15,000 grant for the Southwest AmeriCorps Neighborhood Initiative. The grant will be used to pay for service project supplies and to meet the College’s matching requirements for member stipends.

“We appreciate the support and assistance from the Home Depot Foundation with this important community project,” states Nathan L. Essex, president of Southwest. “Projects like AmeriCorps help make Southwest a true community partner.” AmeriCorps provides needed services to the community while simultaneously helping deserving young adults to qualify for educational awards through their community service.

AmeriCorps members revitalize substandard neighborhood properties by performing minor repairs on houses, improving accessibility for senior citizens by constructing wheelchair ramps and improving neighborhood safety and appearance by organizing community cleanup days and group-related activities to end crime and enhance safety.

AmeriCorps volunteers serve a term of 12 months using the College as a center and base for their activities. Once their service is finished, full-time members who have served at least 1700 hours receive an educational award of $4,725, while part-time members who complete 900 hours receive an award of $2,363. These awards can be used to retire student loans or to attend college.

Southwest, Tennessee’s largest two-year college, serves more than 12,000 students in Memphis, Shelby and Fayette counties, and the Tri-State area.

Southwest offers 39 programs for career studies and transfer degrees, 37 two-year programs leading to immediate career entry through the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree, and over 40 areas of interest in traditional university transfer programs through the Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree and the Associate of Science (A.S.) degree.

In addition, Southwest offers Academic Certificate and Technical Certificate Programs in 28 areas, usually completed in no more than one year, that prepare students for immediate entry positions in high-demand, specialized fields.

Southwest, a Tennessee Board of Regents institution, is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.