Founded in 2008 at Vine Middle School with only four students, Real Talk has grown to serve over 200 students in 11 Knoxville area schools and is actively seeking to serve even more! The purpose of Real Talk is to encourage, enrich, and empower the youth to be successful by keeping discussions real, realistic, and relational through shared life experiences. Founder Clarence Swearengen says, "I believe that the youth needs someone to reignite their ambition while increasing self-empowerment (a concept described by the acronym RAISE). This opportunity will help our students gain the confidence they need to be successful in this society."
While the Real Talk Mentoring Program originally served only male students, we now provide mentoring and other programs to both male and female students at Bearden Middle School, Beaumont Magnet Academy, Central High School, Green Magnet Academy, Inskip Elementary School, Maynard Elementary School, Northwest Middle School, Norwood Elementary School, Sarah Moore Greene Elementary School, Vine Middle Magnet School, and West High School. Our goal is to continue adding more schools each year with hopes of offering the Real Talk Mentoring Program to every elementary, middle, and high school student in Knox County.