Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy

Written August 8, 2019

I was misty eyed as I toured the CGLA campus with Chelsea McCarty and Cathy Clifford. Memories of a bygone era washed over me as I walked through what used to be my old stomping grounds when I attended Tennessee Temple elementary, junior and high school.

These days, the old TT campus is a bit of a ghost town ๐Ÿ‘ป to me as each building has been sold off to various organizations. I could hear the piano and flute music ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽน as I recalled my days of practice in the music building after my weekly lessons.

I recalled the laughter as my classmates and I would race up and down the stairs to our next class. Cathy and Chelsea smiled as I recounted stories of the college date nights in the old “happy corner” just down the block. ๐Ÿ‘ซ

As a few tears welled up, Cathy reached out to me and said perhaps I could see this new chapter as breathing transformative life into a new generation. I smiled, and as I saw the inspirational quotes in the cafeteria and met a few of the senior girls who were gleaming with hope and anticipation of their future, I breathed a sigh of relief that the past can always be redeemed and the former walls could remain a refuge of sorts to a group of young women who have overcome impossible circumstances.

Every single person I met had a certain joy and light in their eyes. They all moved about with a sense of purpose and eagerness to serve each other well.

CGLA is always looking for:

โœ… Corporate sponsors
โœ… Community advocates
โœ… Business professionals who want to add value to the student experience
โœ… Student mentors and “big sisters”
โœ… Tutors
โœ… After-school volunteers
โœ… People who would like to tour the campus to learn more

The Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy is a single gender, small learning community for girls in grades 6-12. The college preparation curriculum is centered on Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM). ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐ŸŽ“ To learn more, visit

Thanks again Cathy and Chelsea for an amazing visit and for being so interested and curious to hear my story of my childhood within your space. I’m so happy to know you’re spreading hope and a quality education to the next generation of leaders.

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