The Ayers Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life for the people of Tennessee. We believe this is best accomplished by positively affecting the fields of Education, Conservation and Social Welfare. The Ayers Foundation Scholars Program began in 1999 with the vision of making higher education more accessible to young people in Tennessee’s Decatur, Henderson, Perry and Unicoi Counties. Established at Riverside High School, Scotts Hill High School, Perry County High School, Lexington High School, and Unicoi County High School the Scholars Program was created to assist small-community students continue their education, through its own scholarships and with support in obtaining other sources of scholarship monies. The Ayers Foundation provides a College Access Counselor and Financial Aid Assistant to serve every student enrolled at our partnering high schools through college completion. Since inception, every student has had access to higher education provided by an individualized plan with a college access counselor. The scholars program is more than college access; it prepares and works with each student to provide resources so they are prepared to be college eligible, successful, and in the end, work-force ready. The program has shown dramatic success in increasing college-going rates, retention, and completion, despite serving primarily low-income and rural students.