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Changing lives...One child at a time.

inspiring youth to stay in school and providing hope for a future


To inspire, educate, and empower Grundy County youth up to age 18 through character building, innovative thinking, community service and entrepreneurship.


To walk alongside students, teachers, parents, and guardians by providing tutoring, mentoring, activities, and apprenticeships to help youth rise up to their full life potential and become good citizens, employees and neighbors.


To provide a safe environment for youth in a program that is

free of charge to enhance:

Academic Performance

Building Family Relationships

Character Development

  Conflict Resolution Skills

Decision Making Skills

Leadership Development

Substance Abuse Prevention

Healthy Living

Community Service Projects 


Many children in Grundy County live below the poverty level and are being raised by grandparents as one or more parents are incarcerated.   Truancy and drug use are prevalent problems.  

Our program is intended to break the generational patterns of drug use by inspiring youth to stay in school and make good decisions. 


RISE UP Grundy

The center is located on Main Street in the old Palmer post office, built in 1946 by the coal mining company.  Palmer is a small rural town rich in history, located a little over 100 miles southeast from Nashville and an hour from Chattanooga, Tennessee.  The town was established in 1925 with deep roots in the coal mining industry.  Many of the men folk in the community were employed by the coal mining company and life flourished for almost 40 years.  Mines were still operational in the area until 1981, when a terrible explosion killed 13 men who were husbands, fathers, grandfathers, and brothers. That tragedy further desecrated the area financially and emotionally. Folks not only lost loved ones, but also lost employment and hope.  The folks in the area are resilient and proud of their heritage.  We are thankful to call them our neighbors and be able to offer hope and encouragement.


  RISE UP Grundy is a program intended to inspire Grundy County youth to stay in school and provide hope for a future.


The youth center is located in the heart of the Palmer community and hosts the program.  This program is modeled after the highly successful YCAP program, which was founded by board member Joe Smith over 20 years ago, and is housed under the Chattanooga YMCA.  The youth center has also been used to serve meals under the South Cumberland Plateau AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Meal Program. 

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