Organizations Offering Mentoring


Emily Norris
[email protected]
(865) 215-3524

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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January is National Mentoring Month, and Empower Knox is highlighting local organizations that offer mentoring and make a difference in the lives of Knoxville youth (and their mentors!)

We hope you will find one that fits your interest and start your journey as a mentor!

100 Black Men
The 100 Black Men of Greater Knoxville was chartered in 1994 and incorporated in 1995 by men from the community who were concerned about and committed to improving the lives of youth in general and African American young men in particular. They pursue a four part agenda, or strategy: Mentoring, Health and Wellness, Education, and Economic Development.

A1 Learning Connections/S.M.A.R.T. Institute

A 1/S.M.A.R.T. Institute provides academic enrichment, "Your Career, Your Choice" program and personal mentoring engagement activities at Vine Middle Magnet and Austin-East Magnet High Schools.
Laschinski Emerson
[email protected]

Amachi - Knoxville Leadership Foundation

Amachi Knoxville serves youth that could be facing parental incarceration, bullying, disconnection from positive adult role models, and a host of other challenges that could negatively impact their future.
[email protected]

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Create and professionally support one-to-one mentoring relationships between "Bigs" and "Littles" in the Knoxville area. They serve Knox, Anderson, Sevier, and Blount Counties, as well as the Tri-Cities area.
Deanna Simpson-Beavers
[email protected]

Bryant's Bridge

Bryant's Bridge provides affordable housing and mentorship for LGBTQ+ youth who have previously experienced homelessness.
Sean Bryant
[email protected]


CAC Youth WINS works with homeless youth between 18-24 to find housing and provide resource linkage to education, workforce development, and mental health. They also coordinate the Youth Action Board, an advocacy board of youth experiencing homelessness or formerly homeless.
Kristine Townsend
[email protected]

Centro Hispano de East Tennessee

Centro works with current Latinx high school students pairing them with near-peer mentors who Latinx current college students to help support their journey to post-secondary goals and the college access process in a culturally-relevant program.
Megan Barolet-Fogarty
[email protected]

The Change Center
The Change Center exists to create a center-city space where teens and young adults are valued, safe, and their hope is nurtured by providing a strategically-located partnership facility that makes recreation, leadership development, and job opportunities available. They sum up the work of the Change Center and the impact they have in three simple words: Careers. Community. Collaboration. These words are in no way a deviation from the well-established mission, vision, and values of the Change Center, but they serve to help more easily tell the story of who they are and what they do. They provide first-time job experience for Knoxville youth as young as fourteen years old. The mentorship and workforce development they receive is second to none.

Divine Urban eXpressions Cultural Arts n Dance Productions
Their DUeX Dream Dance Team was implemented for Talented Yet disadvantaged Youth from Low Income Families who co-founded their "Love is the Answer'' Community Showcase in 2015 with their Team of Volunteers and Program Mentors. The Community Showcase continues to serve as an Outlet of Creative Expression for Young Artists and Families Impacted by the Sudden Loss of Loved ones dues to Violence, Incarceration, and other causes while providing them with the Opportunity to Share their Gifts and Talents to motivate Others and themselves to Overcome Via Expression thus empowering them to influence change in their own communities.
Felecia Outsey
[email protected]

Emerald Youth Foundation - Calling and Career Ministry

Through supportive relationships with staff and volunteer mentors and tutors, young people are also exploring their individual calling and receive guidance as they navigate the big decisions that come throughout high school and early adulthood. They have helped youth learn more about the local workforce through job shadowing programs, and also support students interested in exploring area post-secondary programs through campus visits to colleges. 

Girl Talk, Inc

Girl Talk empowers girls to become their best selves by reducing the likelihood of teen pregnancy and helping them to advance educationally through 1:1 Mentoring, School and Site-Based Programs, and the Girl Talk LIFE Prep Academy.

Iota Alpha Foundation
Their mentoring has been delivered primarily through their Partnership with Sarah Moore Greene Academy and the "Lamplighter Program" (recipient of the 2018 Civic Volunteer Award from Volunteer Knoxville). The program uses professional men from all walks of life to mentor Sarah Moore Greene Academy's 5th Grade boys on the basics of good citizenship and striving for excellence in education.
Terry Mosley

Joy of Music School
This program provides free weekly music instruction, instruments, music, and supplies to financially disadvantaged, at-risk youth in the Knox County area. Fully vetted and qualified teachers provide quality music education in the form of lessons, classes, mentoring, and opportunities for scholarly pursuits both creating and performing music.

Knoxville Area Mentoring Initiative

The Knoxville Area Mentoring Initiative (KAMI) is led by Knoxville Leadership Foundation through their program Amachi Knoxville and partners Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee, Joy of Music School, and YMCA of East Tennessee. The goal of the initiative is to highlight the importance of mentoring, to bring awareness to these area organizations, and support new mentor growth, as well as improve social support networks among participating mentees.

Knoxville Area Urban League - Education and Youth Services

The Knoxville Area Urban League (KAUL) provides academic, social, and personal growth for scholars through their National Achievers Society and Project REACH programs.
Carly Hammonds
[email protected]

My Daughter's Journey
This organization provides services, resources and advocacy for young women 13 to 24 years of age, identified as high-risk youth of color, vulnerable youth (LGBTIA) and those living in on below the poverty standards, who also have behavioral health conditions and criminal justice involvement. The Founder, Ms. Simone Williams, has worked with the families, by providing Annual Back to School Events, Toy Drives, Coat Drives, Food Give and much needed advocacy on their behalf, where they have outreached to over 4,000 girls and young women 13 to 24 years of age, through their group mentoring and program services. Now they are working to implement Gun Trauma workshops to help young women 13 to 24 years of age, and families affected by gun violence and trauma to heal.
Simone Williams
[email protected]

MYNARK’s mission is to support positive youth development by offering their youth rare opportunities to learn valuable lifelong skills in Self Defense/Karate, Fishing, and Performing Arts; along with access to Tutoring, Mentorship, and Community engagement events and outreach projects that will encourage them to MYNARK- Master Your Natural Ability Reaching Kingship. Their goal is to provide their youth with safe, low to no cost unique to their area- healthful-fun, physical fitness alternatives that demonstrate, promote, support, and increase self-confidence, positive character and identity development, good sportsmanship/citizenship, honesty, integrity, self-control, self-sufficiency, and ultimately security.
Shannon Harper
[email protected]

Real Talk

Founded in 2008 at Vine Middle School with only four students, Real Talk has grown to serve over 200 students in 11 Knoxville area schools and is actively seeking to serve even more! The purpose of Real Talk is to encourage, enrich, and empower the youth to be successful by keeping discussions real, realistic, and relational through shared life experience. 

Royal Youth Dance Ensemble
They employ Sr dance members as teaching artists, providing students with mentorship, apprenticeship, and training that can be used when they are old enough to enter the workforce and beyond. Therefore, the vision is to inspire youth to use the arts and its disciplines to aid them through life and its experiences. The goal is to continue offering dance classes, workshops, and training workshops and eventually competition classes for their dancers who wish to start and continue in their program. For them to become awakened by the new norms of life, where their dreams of living in a world without the presence crime, poverty, and violence is possible. Creating an environment where youth thrive versus survive is their top priority.


SEEED (Socially Equal Energy Efficient Development) creates pathways out of poverty for young adults through career readiness training, environmental education, mentorship, and community engagement. The 8-week Career Readiness Program is offered twice a year and is open to 18-24 year-olds.
Darcy Ayers
[email protected] 

SHADES of Development
SHADES works with middle and high school students at South Doyle Middle, mentoring students in post-secondary options for college and career opportunities, as well as a strong focus on 8th-9th grade bridging in an effort to improve graduation rates.
Sindy Dawkins-Schade
[email protected]

Thrive provides after school, summer, and mentoring programming to at-risk youth in five locations across Knoxville.
Holly Kizer/Claire McWhorter
[email protected]

Two Bikes
The bike school provides mentoring, skills development, and small business training.
[email protected]

UT Project Excellence: A Youth Leadership Program
UT-sponsored youth leadership program and (credit-earning) early college experience program at Austin-East High School 11th and 12th grade students.
Kimberly Hill
[email protected]

World United Ministries
The Safe Haven House program is designed to serve 10-15 young men ages 11 to 17 years old offering individual mentoring, computer training, life skills, information about current employment opportunities and ‘how-to’ apply for employment.  

YOKE has volunteer mentors hosting after-school programs at 23 middle schools across 6 counties.
Jonathan Haskell
[email protected]

YWCA - GameChangers
GameChangers is the only gender-based violence prevention program for middle-school boys in East Tennessee. GameChangers uses a group mentoring structure, with each group of participants being led by two adult mentors. The program teaches middle school boys about: domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, bystander intervention skills, and how they can help prevent violence against women and girls.
[email protected]