Impact Nashville presents 2015 grant.

Impact Nashville presents 2015 grant.

Impact Nashville announced their first grant winner in October. Chosen from more than 90 applicants, The Tennessee Higher Education Initiative was awarded the $26,000 grant.

The Tennessee Higher Education Initiative was founded in 2012 and facilitates on-site higher education courses in correctional facilities in Tennessee.

“Access to education and higher education in particular has proven to greatly lessen the likelihood that an offender will return to prison,” said Julie Doochin, executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Initiative. “The men benefitting from this grant will be better prepared for reentry into the community, and as a result will be far less likely to reoffend. Therefore, this program reaps generational benefits by enabling these men to become productive, tax-paying citizens who are more able to care for their families, which ultimately increases the security and well-being of our community.”

In its first year, Impact Nashville focused their grant process on nonprofit organizations in the startup phase, three years or less in operation. Member committees reviewed and evaluated grant applications, conducted site visits and selected finalists for consideration by the general membership.

“We could not have done this without the 26 outstanding women who are founding members of our organization,” said Impact Nashville Executive Director Jolene Skinner. “We feel strongly that our members should get the opportunity to be closely involved in the process of reviewing and selecting our community partners to see the impact of their donation.”

Two finalists presented to the Impact Nashville membership at the annual meeting – The Tennessee Higher Education Initiative and Amputee Blade Runners. “We had many worthy organizations apply and had a difficult time selecting a single grant winner. Our long-term goal is to reach a membership level where we can give five $100,000 grants each year,” said Skinner.