Recipient: Mrs. Jessica Lawrence

Mrs. Jessica Lawrence, a longtime resident of East Lake Courts, started a summer camp over ten years ago for the children in her community. She wanted to create a safe and fun place for children to be able to go for the summer months. While social services and education funding is being cut from municipal and state budgets across the United States, the UNFoundation was eager to fund such an awesome example of do-it-yourself community building.

The summer camp ran from May 28 through August 7, with the hopes of transitioning to an after school program. The camp was organized as a collaboration between the East Lake Courts Recreation and Community Center, Grove Street Settlement House, and the Chattanooga Housing Authority—all with the help of some critical volunteers including university students from area Universities and Colleges. A majority of the attendants were students from Clifton Hills Elementary or East Lake Elementary, where over 95% of students are receiving free or reduce lunches. The program provided a critical source of meals for breakfast and lunch each day, but also a place for them to continue critical learning through LEXIA, a computer-based reading program.