Program Description: The Memphis Challenge, Inc. is a 19 year-old talent identification program that recognizes the academic acumen of high achieving students of color in their junior and senior year of high school. Students are recruited from Memphis city, county and private schools. The students participate in a 9–18 month personal and professional development intensive that focuses on topics that will enhance their college selection, improve their ACT/SAT scores, and enhance their personal and professional development.
In the summer months students apply for internships in their field of interest to better prepare them for their career choice. The University of Tennessee has been a 19 year supporter of the Memphis Challenge program. Several Memphis Challengers are alums of UT medical, dental, and pharmacy schools.
The Memphis Challenge selects minority students who represent the top 10 percent of the senior class from city, county and private schools in the Memphis area. Academic achievement, leadership abilities and interviewing skills are the basis for selection. The following criteria are necessary for consideration:
- Scholastic average of 3.5 or higher
- ACT score of at least 25 or a combined SAT score of 1,500 (applies to senior applicants only)
- Recommendation by guidance counselor and teachers
- Proven leadership skills, particularly in community service
- Written essay on select topics
Applicants to the program must be enthusiastic and hard-working students in pursuit of a successful college career. In addition, the program demands that applicants meet the high standards and maturity level required for the business environment.
After completing and submitting a Memphis Challenge application, qualified candidates are interviewed before a final decision is made.