The jump in Chattanooga-area enrollment at Lane College is due, in large part, to the connection, vision, and collaboration found between two Leadership Tennessee Signature Program Class VI members. Stacy Lightfoot, Vice President of College and Career Success of the Public Education Foundation of Chattanooga and Logan Hampton, President of Lane College, worked together diligently to connect Hamilton County students to Lane College’s Power of Potential scholarship.
But for Leadership Tennessee, Stacy and Logan’s paths would not have crossed yet, an activated network would not have been engaged, and the proverbial needle would not have moved to support postsecondary opportunities for 43 Chattanooga students.
*Stacy Lightfoot’s “But For Leadership Tennessee…” Story
“During the opening Leadership Tennessee retreat in 2018, I was excited to meet the college presidents who were also in Class VI of Leadership Tennessee. Being that I always advocate for students and find ways to expose them to opportunities, quickly connecting to the higher ed folks in my class made sense. My first time meeting Dr. Logan Hampton, president of Lane College, a small liberal arts Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in Jackson, TN, was ‘purpose-filled’. I told him that not many Chattanooga students venture across the state to attend school in Jackson or Memphis, but I’d love to think of ways and collaborate with him to expose more Chattanooga students to postsecondary possibilities. When he learned that I was from Chattanooga, he spoke proudly about a Chattanooga young man, Kadarius Scott, who had made an impressive mark on Lane’s campus as Student Government Association President and a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc, amongst other things. Kadarius was a graduate of Brainerd High School in Chattanooga—one of Hamilton County’s lowest performing schools who also made an impact in high school. ‘If you can help me find more students like Kadarius on our campus, we will gladly take them,’ Dr. Hampton asserted. Once he said that, my brain started working more. The first day we met, the seed was planted. It took one more conversation before we activated a plan to connect Chattanooga students to Lane College.
Lane College is one of TN’s most affordable 4 year college options in the state. The total cost of attendance for in-and out-of-state students is less than $20,000. Dr. Hampton said that if I could assist in identifying students who have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, who are excited about attending a historically black college, and who demonstrate perseverance and leadership, they would be ideal candidates for Lane’s Power of Potential Scholarship. A month later, Dr. Hampton made this video that was shared with Hamilton County school counselors and college advisors. The rest is history. Me and my staff at Public Education Foundation coordinated the scholarship application and worked with advisors to ensure students completed the application and financial aid processes that would qualify them for the Lane’s Power Of Potential scholarship. Advisors from just about every public school in Hamilton County disseminated information to students and parents about the Power of Potential and Lane received close to 50 applications from Hamilton County students, a record number of applications from Chattanooga. Public Education Foundation also hosted a college tour for applicants and their families in May 2019. ‘I wouldn’t have gone to college if it were not for this scholarship. I am thankful that my college advisor told me about Lane. I can’t see myself anywhere else,’ said Michael who went on the college tour with his mother. Michael is a first-generation college student.
To date, Lane has enrolled 43 freshmen from Chattanooga. I am excited to grow that number and continue my relationship with Dr. Hampton and Lane College.
But for Leadership Tennessee, this would not have happened.”