Save Our Sons Partners

Community Relations Director

Avice Reid
areid@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-2536

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Kevin A. Perry
Community Outreach Manager

kaperry@knoxvilletn.gov
865-215-2589

Tatia M. Harris
Grant Manager/Title VI Coordinator

tharris@knoxvilletn.gov
865-215-2831


This page is a directory of resource providers that provide a road map of services for boys and young men of color.


A1 Learning Connection

Services Provided:
The mission of the S.M.A.R.T. ( science, math, reading, and technology) Institute is to enable students to be triumphant in the world of tomorrow. The Institute provides after school programming as well as summer institutes. The Institute provides tutoring and enrichment in core courses for middle and high school students. The following classes are also offered on a weekly basis: relationship building, conflict resolution, goal setting, leadership development, ACT prep, music lessons, reading lab, gardening, basic money management, physical fitness, STEM activities, nutrition and culinary arts, and Spanish. Mentors are available for each individual student. SMART TALK groups are set up to address relevant, contemporary issues affecting the emotional and social well-being of the students. Professionals possessing degrees serve as the instructors for the aforementioned classes. Additionally, our organization engages students by taking them on educational field trips throughout the year.

Volunteer Opportunities: 

Volunteers are welcomed on a weekly basis. Volunteers can serve as mentors as well as assistants in classroom settings.


Alliance House Community of Knoxville

Services Provided:
AHCK is recognized as a 501c3 community charitable non-profit with no religious affiliation. AHCK discourages any policy or practice that promotes poor health and poverty in our community. AHCK is committed to engaging African American males between the critical ages of 18-25 in order to promote better lifestyles. We work to develop healthier lives through moral practices, management principles, and community equity building. Through community intervention, AHCK’s leadership model is centered on promoting the principles of moral conduct, authority, and responsibility. AHCK is increasing the prominence of the skills necessary for global competitiveness: creativity and critical thinking. As a result, AHCK is improving self-sufficiency, equity, and literacy in our communities. AHCK’s long-term goal is to build confidence and to develop self-efficacy, so that program participants will set objectives towards advancing their knowledge (e.g., community college, four-year university, technical school, or leadership roles in their community). AHCK envisions a healthier, community-engaging world with increased empathy, vibrancy, and literacy. AHCK believes health education is defined as, "the sum of all experiences in school and elsewhere that influence habits, attitudes, and knowledge relating to individual, community, and racial health.”

Volunteer Opportunities: 

AHCK has four standing committees actively working in communities to address these issues. We see our committees as the gatekeepers of these communities. These committees are discussing issues in Knoxville and Knox County like the following: social justice, inequity, economic disparities, housing conflicts, and food security. The goal of these committees is to distribute and promote information to underserved and underrepresented communities. AHCK believes in the empowerment of affected communities; given the proper tools, residents will take the lead in shaping their own health and economic destiny. Our goal is to coordinate with existing models, as well as to develop new ones. The ultimate goal is the elimination of  the barriers that create poor health and poverty. We accomplish this through organizing, engaging one another, and rallying together to support these distressed areas. Therefore, AHCK is working to ensure that the community has realistic and practical tools for reaching these goals. We want to make certain that the people have the means to make their community a more remarkable and amazing place to live, work, and play in. Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in becoming a volunteer.


Connect Ministries

Services Provided:
C.O.N.N.E.C.T. Ministries is a Christ-centered, "hands-on" community networking resource center. This non-profit organization provides:  free in-house services, network referrals, resumes-building skills, job readiness training, employment searches, and mentoring. Furthermore, we provide advocacy for the underserved, which includes the illiterate, the economically disadvantaged, and the unemployed.  We also provide “gap” programming in order to meet the specific needs of youth, veterans, and ex-offenders in the community. Last but not least, we also provide spiritual counseling and programming that is specialized for Knoxville’s at-risk youth and their families.

Volunteer Opportunities: 
We have volunteer opportunities for male mentors, community volunteers, administrative volunteers, and advisory board volunteers that work with the board of directors to address various community concerns.


Job Corps Admissions

Services Provided:
Job Corps is a free education and training program that helps young people to familiarize themselves with a career, to earn a high school diploma or GED, and to find and keep a good job. For eligible young people that are low-income and at least 16 years of age, Job Corps provides the all-around skills needed for success in a career and in life.


Joy of Music School

Services Provided: 
The mission of the Joy of Music School, established in 1998, is to provide a quality music education for financially disadvantaged, at-risk youth. Using volunteer teachers, we offer free weekly music lessons, instruments, and supplies to under-served children from 6 to 18 years old.. We also provide outreach teaching to low income children and teens in after-school and summer programs. Students qualify for free lessons under the same household income guidelines used by the national free/reduced lunch program. The School seeks to develop the talent, motivation and leadership potential of our students by partnering them with mentoring music teachers in a nurturing environment. We assist students, irrespective of race, ethnicity, or religion, who lack the resources to acquire music lessons. We reach hundreds of children each week, including around 210 private-lesson students taught on-site by 105 volunteer teachers, plus approximately 850 more children in free weekly group lessons via outreach to Boys and Girls Clubs, Knox County Schools 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Knox County’s Public Defender’s Office and other after-school sites.

Volunteer Opportunities:
The Joy of Music School is always looking for qualified  music mentors to volunteer and help us with our mission. Music mentors must be proficient at one or more musical instrument and be willing to commit a minimum of a half-hour per week for at least one academic school year. We also have occasional needs for office help, special events, and building maintenance.


KICKO

Services Provided:
KICKO is a non-profit organization transforming our inner city by equipping and empowering its children to fully realize their potential and to discover their God-given destiny. Sidewalk Sonday School is our children’s ministry to the children (3-13) and their families living in Knoxville’s inner city and other local communities. KICKO has been a “mobile” ministry since its inception, as we believe in building relationships on their turf. Sidewalk Sonday School utilizes a cube truck where one side folds down to make a stage and houses everything needed to take a Sonday school program into area communities. Today, our trucks allow us to take the Gospel to 10 different locations (We added 2 locations in Summer of 2014, and another in Fall of 2015!) with 3 teams visiting over 1,200 kids in our community. If you are looking to get involved with an exciting, outreach ministry then look no further. Sidewalk Sonday School is just for you, and family involvement is encouraged. Not long after Sidewalk Sonday School began, we realized that our program only appealed to a certain age. We were losing the kids once they reached middle and high school. In our effort to maintain our relationships with our kids, we started “Junior Staff”. Those who have outgrown the Sonday School program now help us at their site. Not only are we handing the baton to them and equipping them for ministry, but we have begun to disciple our youth as young Christian men and women. Monthly, we have Junior Staff events; sometimes we just hang out with out with them and other times we engage in discipleship. If you are interested in hosting or helping us then please feel free to contact us at 865-523-4956 or via email at info@kicko.org!

Volunteer Opportunities:

KICKO has numerous opportunities for volunteers. We have weekly visitation and Sidewalk Sonday School at 10 different locations. Partnering with area churches, families, and individuals is the only way we can fully impact the heart of our city. We have weekly opportunities to work with our middle and high school students (Junior Staff), alongside their monthly events. Summer means VBS, camps, and conferences along with weekly activities. We need your help to build relationships, teach, lead in worship, pick-up/drop-off, and simply live life alongside the over 1,200 kids we minister to weekly. We believe everyone has something to give. You may enjoy writing, photography, social media or office tasks, and we need your help with tasks such as building relationships, researching and making spreadsheets, and maintaining technology and vehicles. Whatever your hobby may be we believe you can always use it to give back in your local community. Contact us today to get plugged in; call 865-523-4956 or email info@kicko.org! We require each volunteer to fill out our volunteer screen form. We are also taking internship applications with year-round opportunities. Visit www.kicko.org/get-involved to download those forms.


Knoxville Area Urban League

Services Provided: 
Since 1968, the Knoxville Area Urban League has assisted disadvantaged people in attaining social and economic stability and self-sufficiency through direct services and advocacy. The League works to provide a skilled and diverse workforce, to increase homeownership, to support economic and small business development, and to enhance education efforts for our youth. The Knoxville Area Urban League is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization, a United Way partner agency and an affiliate of the National Urban League. The League’s work and results are evident in the lives of the more than 8,400 people it impacts each year.


Knoxville Urban League Out of School Youth Program

Services Provided: 
The Out of School Youth Program is geared towards 16 -24 year olds that are not currently attending school. We provide career assessment and planning, educational assistance, financial literacy, paid and unpaid work experience, support services, job placement assistance and individualized case management.


Knoxville Leadership Foundation- Knox Worx Face Forward

Services Provided: 
The Face Forward program provides customized support that helps first-time offenders in the juvenile justice system receive the encouragement, education and job training needed to lead successful lives. Our goal is to help young people explore their strengths and abilities in order to envision a future of professional success. All participants must actively engage in the planning process with FF staff and participate in assigned activities related to education, job training and mentoring. Eligibility requirements for participants are as follows: must be 16-24 years old, must live in certain specified areas of Knoxville, must have current or previous involvement with the juvenile court, and must have no adult criminal charges. 


Metro Drug Coalition

Services Provided:
Metro Drug Coalition (MDC) is a non-profit organization established by a joint resolution between the City of Knoxville and Knox County. Its purpose is to unite policy makers and leaders to address community substance abuse issues. It's our mission to improve the health of the greater Knoxville community by reducing its consumption of alcohol and drugs through political, systematic and environmental change. We focus on Knox County School’s student/teacher substance abuse prevention education, youth engagement through alcohol/drug-free activities and initiatives, collaboration with the Juvenile Court Youth Victims Impact Panel, and promotion of the Born Drug-Free Tennessee Campaign. Additionally, we work to promote ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) training for medical providers and educators, SBIRT (Screening Brief Intervention Referral to Treatment) training for medical providers and educators, addiction treatment referral and recovery advocacy, and a variety of other substance abuse prevention initiatives.

Volunteer Opportunities:
Become a member of MDC’s Community Coalition! Our Community Coalition is comprised of numerous volunteers and community partners throughout Knoxville, representing law enforcement, youth-serving organizations, treatment programs, healthcare facilities, local businesses, the school systems and others. Coalition members meet monthly to discuss current projects, recommend strategies for community change, and network with other substance abuse prevention leaders. If you would like to join our efforts, call 865-588-5550 or send an email to Aly Taylor at ataylor@metrodrug.org.


MTT (More Than Talk) Community Corps

Services Provided:
Changing Perspective Changing Lives - MTT Community Corps is a non-profit (501c-3) whose mission is to serve within the areas of the United States suffering from poverty and the epidemic of violence. We aim to eliminate youth violence by utilizing empowerment tools that build low income areas into thriving self-sufficient communities. MTT Community Corps is established to provide holistic approaches to eradicate poverty mentalities that lead to violent behaviors. The first initiative of MTT Corps is to train and certify African American males (19-21) to become qualified mentors in their communities, providing a solution to the lack of qualified African American male mentors available to empower our youth. This initial program will provide 6 weeks of extensive youth mentor training, a graduation, and additional opportunities to further their training and certifications. The target areas for this training are construction, media arts production, or continuation of MTT Corp involvement. Certified volunteers are eligible to serve in youth centers and organizations, schools, and community service programs during training. All participants will have background checks completed.

Volunteer Opportunities:

MTT Community Corps has developed a curriculum based on the National Standards of Youth Mentorship Training and is in need of instructors willing to volunteer 2-4 hours per week in order to train participants in online MTT Corps curriculum. We also are in need of personal trainers to physically train volunteers 2-4 hours a week.


Project GRAD Knoxville

Services Provided:
Project GRAD Knoxville has partnered with Knox County Schools and the community since 2001 to increase hope and opportunities for students in Knoxville’s center city. The goal is to increase the graduation rate and higher-education attainment of students from socioeconomically depressed backgrounds. Project GRAD is a K-16 nationally recognized college/career access program focused on: college/career access and success, social service support, family/neighborhood/community engagement, and intentional support for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Fourteen Knox County schools and 7,000 students and their families are served by the GRAD partnership: Austin-East Magnet and Fulton High Schools, Vine Magnet and Whittle Springs Middle Schools, Beaumont Magnet, Belle Morris, Christenberry, Dogwood, Green Magnet, Lonsdale, Maynard, Sarah Moore Greene Magnet, South Knoxville, and Spring Hill Elementary Schools. The work and coaching efforts of members and school-staff are what spearhead this effort. We are committed to creating persistent connections early and often, from Kindergarten to college and beyond. We are making an intentional effort to develop and grow future workforce leaders. In partnership with Knox County Schools, the Great Schools Partnership and the communities we serve, Project GRAD impacts generational change through education.


SEEED Inc

Services Provided:
SEEED leads the way in creating pathways out of poverty in the heart of Knoxville by staking an equitable claim in Knoxville's emerging green economy. SEEED focuses on development and training of at-risk young adults for sustainable careers in clean and efficient energy, while raising resident awareness of, and engagement with, sustainability programs that benefit these low-income communities. There are 2 interrelated programs: the Pre Apprenticeship Program (PAP) and the Green Community Awareness Program (GreenCAP). In the PAP, struggling, at-risk inner city young people have a better chance of success at finding sustainable employment if they can first have guidance from mentors and peers in basic life and job acquisition skills. They get involved in community service through GreenCAP and gain practical, marketable experiences in the high-growth green jobs sector. GreenCAP is an environmental literacy program with a series of neighborhood canvassing and interactive energy efficiency workshops that empower community members to integrate sustainability practices into their lifestyles. The outcomes are strong positioning of at-risk youth for stable, well-paying jobs, especially in energy services and green building trades. Furthermore, an expanded cadre of young people is making positive contributions to their community by spreading the gospel of energy efficiency, lower energy bills for low-income residents, and reducing climate warming.


Sols Magazine Inc.

Services Provided:
Sherri Williams is the CEO and Founder of Sols Magazine & Writing Center. Our magazines are open to all writers of all ages to share their poetry, short stories, and motivational quotes with those who are incarcerated, in halfway housing, at children’s hospitals, or in homeless shelters. The Sols Writing Center is in the process of filing our 501c3 nonprofit status. This motivational booklet empowers the readers to be accountable for their actions and to learn to forgive themselves, to seek their faith, and to also step out on faith and reconnect with their families and children. We will be celebrating 2 years in business and we have taken it to the next level by obtaining our own space in order to open a writing center and a future recording studio for those inspiring writers. This studio will offer writers the ability to relax and concentrate on their writing, to get their work copyrighted or published, to plan book release events, and more. Our vision is to house all these writing opportunities under one roof.

Volunteer Opportunities:

The volunteer opportunities available are for the evenings from 3 pm to 8 pm Monday-Friday. Volunteers can assist with homework block which will be from 3pm to 4:30, or serve their dinner which will be from 5 pm to 6 pm. Volunteers can also host an hour-long mentoring workshop. These workshops will offer etiquette behavior, self-employment ideas and more.


Tennessee Career Center

Services Provided:
We work with youth and young adults who are between the ages of 16-24,  not enrolled in a school of any kind, and experience one of the following barriers:
• A high school dropout
• An individual who is an offender
• An individual who is homeless
• An individual who is pregnant or parenting
• An individual who has a high school diploma and is low-income and basic skills deficient
• An individual who has a disability.

Volunteer Opportunities:
We continuously work with various organizations so that we can supply them with volunteers to help them meet their needs.


YOKE Youth Ministries

Services Provided:
Since 1977, YOKE has been connecting middle school students with adult mentors through after-school clubs, camps, and special activities. YOKE now has programs at 26 middle schools across 5 counties in East Tennessee. Club programs consist of an hour of games and activities, and conclude with a brief lesson from the Bible relating to character. YOKE recruits, screens, trains, and engages mentors (known as YOKE Folk) from local universities, churches, and partner organizations. YOKE Folk are encouraged to engage in the students’ lives throughout the week and YOKE tracks this personal interaction. This time may include sharing lunch at the school, attending ballgames and concerts, or just hanging out. YOKE also hosts a weekend of camp twice a year at Camp Bayoca in Sevier County. YOKE works hard to keep camp costs to a minimum and also provides scholarship opportunities for students who would not otherwise be able to attend. YOKE Summer Adventures provide an opportunity for relationships to continue throughout the year. A series of one-day trips promotes a healthy lifestyle and provides students an opportunity to try new things. Scholarships are also available for Summer Adventures.

Volunteer Opportunities:

Volunteer mentors are needed to staff YOKE’s after-school clubs and build relationships with students. YOKE typically recruits college-age students to serve as “YOKE Folk,” though high school seniors and adults may also apply. YOKE Folk agree to serve at an after-school club once a week. Times may vary, but most inner-city clubs are held immediately following the school day and last an hour. YOKE Folk also agree to build relationships with their students and engage with them at other times during the week. This activity may range from a text message or phone call to sharing a meal or attending a ball game together. YOKE also counts on our mentors to help at a weekend of camp each semester. Ideally, each club will have a team of 8-10 YOKE Folk. To apply, visit http://www.yokeyouth.com/yoke-folk.html. YOKE performs background checks on all applicants, provides training, and pairs new volunteers with more experienced teams.


YWCA Phyllis Wheatley Center

Services Provided:
After-School Enrichment Program (ASEP) provides a safe, nurturing environment with structure and accountability for middle school students at no cost. Students aged 10 to 14 are invited to attend. Services are available from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm daily during the school year with occasional extended hours during holiday breaks and teacher in-service days. ASEP works to encourage academic success, leadership, civic involvement, healthy decision-making, and positive family engagement. Focus areas include academics, teen pregnancy, youth and family violence, substance use, childhood obesity, and future planning. Students participate in daily academic enhancement, weekly prevention programming, and regular physical activity. They can also choose from a variety of educational blocks. Our Senior Networking Program is a free weekly program that provides fellowship, nutritious lunches, aerobic exercises, brain-stimulating games, and dynamic community speakers. The YWCA Senior Network meets on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month from September to May. Additionally, our Community Center is a hot spot for community gatherings. Countless community, family, sporting, and faith-based events, such as baby showers, birthday parties, memorial services, and community basketball league games, have filled these halls. Open Monday - Sunday for rentals.