Tennessee Reconnect Spotlight: Chad Marr

June 24, 2022 | Betty A. Proctor | Internal Press Release

man's photo inside a circle

Tennessee Reconnect Spotlight will feature a first-person story each week...

Just a few years ago if someone had told me I would be back in school pursuing my degree in Dental Hygiene I wouldn’t have believed them. Before I made the conscious decision to apply to Chattanooga State and further my education, I worked as a landscape laborer for about two years and prior to that I worked many different jobs including factories, warehouses, restaurants, retail, etc. and I just never truly felt like I was happy with my occupational choices. I always had thought about what my life would be like if I did go back to school and get a degree but my biggest hang up was being able to afford my tuition. 

I met my partner around the time I started doing landscape and he was always very supportive and encouraged me to seriously think about finding a career that I could see myself enjoying. I knew I wanted to choose something where I could help people better their health and provide them with more confidence, so after weighing my options in the healthcare industry I decided that I wanted to become a Registered Dental Hygienist. My partner also told me about the Reconnect Program and how I could potentially get my tuition paid for by the state of Tennessee and after giving it heavy consideration, I decided to apply for the grant and begin my journey at Chattanooga State. I started working on my pre-requisite courses back in 2020 and I ended up doing better in school than I had anticipated. The Chattanooga State Dental Hygiene program is very competitive but maintaining a high GPA while completing my pre-requisites and doing well on my TEAS test ultimately led to me being accepted into the program.

Thanks to Tennessee Reconnect I don’t have to worry about not being able to afford my classes. I’m so very grateful for this opportunity that I have been blessed with! If you are an adult in Tennessee and if you are unhappy with your current work life and thinking about going back to school but concerned with not being able to afford it, I highly recommend applying for the TN Reconnect Grant! 

---Chad Marr

Interested in learning more about Tennessee Reconnect? Attend a virtual information session at 2 pm on June 30, 5:30 pm on July 6, 11,18 or 25, or 9 am on July 9 or 23. Sign up today here.