Autumn had been dealt a rough hand in life. She was abused as a child, and as a result struggled mightily with depression. Coupled with Attention Deficit Disorder, Autumn’s struggles caused her to lash out and she was eventually arrested for disorderly conduct and wound up in Juvenile Court. Her probation officer wanted Autumn to have a brighter future than her past, so he referred her to the Knoxville Leadership Foundation and recommended she participate in their KnoxWorx program. The program offers education and employment training, as well as mentorship and a deeply supportive community. Autumn was matched with her mentor, Allie, and things began looking up.

Over time, Autumn and Allie developed mutual trust and a strong friendship. They spent a lot of time hanging out and working together, and Allie proved to be the positive role model that Autumn so desperately needed. During their time together, Autumn and Allie worked to improve Autumn’s grades and figure out what she wanted her future to look like. Autumn decided she wanted to go into healthcare, so Allie and KnoxWorx arranged for her to receive a stipend and tuition help that allowed her to enroll in a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program. Autumn completed the program with flying colors, and is now a full-time CNA with her own car and apartment.

United Way of Greater Knoxville is so grateful to be able to support an agency that offers such impactful programs in our community. The Knoxville Leadership Foundation offers people the opportunity to improve themselves and their station in life, and go after dreams they never thought possible. These programs change lives, but change doesn’t happen alone. To live better, we must LIVE UNITED.

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