KINGSPORT ‚¬ Your Kingsport Chamber of Commerce will host the 20th TN/VA Scholars Senior Picnic Celebration to honor the efforts and achievements of the graduating TN/VA Scholar students.

The picnic will take place at Eastman Recreational Area near Bays Mountain Park on Tuesday, April 22 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The keynote speaker will be David Golden, senior vice president, chief legal officer and corporate secretary at Eastman Chemical Company. He will be introduced by Morris Baker, community service director for the city of Kingsport and chair of workforce development for the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce.

TN/VA Scholars is a regional rewards and recognition program of the Kingsport Chamber for high school students. Sponsored by area business and industry, this program encourages students to complete high school courses in math, science, social studies, language arts/foreign language and computer literacy. Students must also meet community service, attendance and grade requirements throughout the four years of high school to participate.

The Kingsport Chambers TN/VA Scholars Program will recognize more than 400 graduating seniors from Cherokee, Dobyns-Bennett, Gate City, Rye Cove, Sullivan North, Sullivan South, Twin Springs and Volunteer high schools.

“The premise of the TN/VA Scholars Program is to better prepare students for college, work, technical school and community service; competition is global and we want our students to be prepared to compete. The Scholars’ program helps prepare students for the future,” explains Nicole Austin, Kingsport Chamber director of workforce development & government relations.

The program is celebrating its 20th year and has experienced exponential growth since initially coming to Northeast Tennessee in 1994 (under the name AIM Scholars) with Eastman Chemical Companys education initiatives. Since the programs inception, more than 10,000 students have graduated from the program. These students are entering the workforce better prepared for their futures.

In the event of rain, the picnic will be held on Thursday, April 24.

The TN/VA Scholars program is sponsored by Eastman Chemical Company, AT&T and the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing. Event sponsors include American Electric Power, Brock Services, Canteen Vending, Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Cooper Standard Automotive, Eastman Credit Union, Food City, Jersey Mikes, Pristine Springs and Wal-Mart.

The Kingsport Chamber of Commerce is a private, non-profit business organization composed of nearly 1,000 members.‚  The Kingsport Chambers mission is to utilize resources and focus efforts on enhancing a strong and viable business environment for the Kingsport area.

Programs of the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce include:‚  Communications & Development; Education & Workforce Development; Downtown Concert Series; Fun Fest; Government Relations; Keep Kingsport Beautiful; Kingsport ChamberZone; Kingsport Convention & Visitors Bureau (KCVB); Kingsport Leadership Programs (ENCORE, Leadership Kingsport and S.H.O.U.T.!‚®); Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE); Membership; Move to Kingsport; Santa Train; and Tennessee/Virginia Scholars.

For more information on the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, go to or call (423) 392-8800.‚  Sign up for Kingsport Chamber text alerts at‚  Were social too; follow us on our Facebook page, Your Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce, and on our Twitter account, @kptchamber.