Epicenter works to empower, guide, and support Nashville's urban youth by providing educational workshops and opportunities designed to help them articulate their goals and actualize those goals through college matriculation
Epicenter is a nonprofit organization founded in March of 2014 by youth advocates to serve urban youth in Nashville’s metropolitan neighborhoods. Studies have shown that students in Nashville’s public schools lack engagement and aspiration. Minority students are 8% behind their majority counterparts in math and English achievement, they are more likely to be economically disadvantaged, and they all go to school together. Their lack of resources and general access leads to a lack of confidence. This perpetuates their withdrawal from school, disconnect from their community, and disregard for their future.
Epicenter's founders witnessed this phenomenon daily as college mentors in MNPS high schools. Roughly 30% of the seniors they worked with were socially or academically prepared for higher education; even fewer were both. It became clear that these students needed information, access, and opportunity. Epicenter was born.
You can help!
Right now we're raising funds for our first year of programs.
Your contribution will support our barrier budget, our tax forms, and materials, supplies, food and snacks for all of our programs. Any amount is welcome, and a donation of at least $3 gets you started on some great perks.
Consider donating, follow our progress, tell your friends! And of course, stay tuned for updates.
Can't contribute right now? You can also help us by donating your time as an Epicenter Expert.
Our programs fit into one of four categories: exposure, process, preparation, and support. Check them out. Programming begins in August.
In the Community
Epicenter staff is available to facilitate in your space or create presentations specifically for your group or event. Contact us to schedule your group, or check out epic|edu to purchase our creative college access products.
Connect with Us
Knowledge is POWER
By reinforcing knowledge of self and strengthening a connection to the community, we help youth advocate for themselves and make informed decisions.
Illuminate the Way
We challenge and explore what it means to be "college ready" by giving youth the tools to navigate systems involved with college admissions, financial aid, and academic success.
Grow With Us
We embrace our youth as individuals, working with them to map out their best interest. Once you participate in an Epicenter program, you become part of the Epicenter family.
We have developed creative and tangible ways to communicate the importance of higher education, change the direction of discouraging statistics, and help students become stakeholders in their future. We work to ensure our students understand systems and equip them with tools for success on their path -- whatever it may be. When students leave us, they are ready to shake up the world.
Exposure: These programs introduce youth to new ideas and fields of interest. Lessons teach soft skills, encourage articulating aspirations, and impart base knowledge. Programs in this category include Power Project and Careers 4 Rebels.
Process: In this stage, programs move beyond base knowledge and begin to explore specific processes involved in the aspirations youth have previously expressed. These programs include Road to College & The Scholar Race.
Preparation: These programs provide specified preparation. The Application Boot Camp in the fall assists seniors through the completion of at least one college application. Now What?? follows in the spring helping youth navigate the time between college acceptance and college enrollment.
Support: At this level, Epicenter supports youth through their endeavors to ensure success. After college matriculation, students may participate in Epicenter Enrichment.