Who We Are

Shora (meaning “a safe place” in the Nigerian language) Foundation was founded in 2008 by Tanika Harper, providing services to inner city teens in the East Knoxville area. These services include but not limited to life skills seminars, summer learning programs, community events, and a partnership with Austin-East and Fulton High Schools providing students with school preparation supplies to include brand new backpacks and scientific calculators.  In 2016, the organization helped five young men/women find job placement, enroll in college, or enroll in a GED program. In 2017, Shora Foundation served over 500 students in school preparedness. We have been blessed to have partnered with organizations such as Young Life, Community Evangelistic Church, Hope Resource Center, Knox County Health Department, Eternal Life Harvest, and Hope Fellowship Church to ensure success of programming. Some of our sponsors include Pilot, B&B Lawn Services, Knox County, and the City of Knoxville.


To provide a safe place culture for those in under-resourced areas by creating opportunities and transforming communities.


·         Elevate education

·         Enhance experiences

·         Shift mindsets

·         Empower generations.

·         Increase opportunities

Services Expansion:

In 2018, Shora Foundation expanded its services to include after-school and summer programming for elementary and middle school students in East Knoxville. Kids who attend the following schools are the organization’s primary target: Sarah Moore Green Elementary School, Green Magnet Academy, Vine Middle Magnet, Holston Middle, Chilhowee Intermediate, Sunnyview Primary, and Emerald Charter School.

The Academic Center is an after-school and summer program that focuses on academics, character education, physical activity, and healthy habits to help inner-city kids strive and reach their full potential. The Academic Center serves up to 50 students who primarily come from low-income neighborhoods and failing schools. 60% of the children in East Knoxville live below the poverty line. Many of the students live within a one-mile radius of two public housing communities, Section 8 housing, and lower income homes.  The area schools are also struggling to keep up with State requirements.  According to the 2015 State of Tennessee Report Card, three of the schools we serve – Green Magnet Academy, Sarah Moore Green Elementary School, and Vine Middle Magnet School – are failing in reading, mathematics, and science.  All three schools are ranked at the bottom of all Knox County Schools in terms of attendance and test scores, and have the highest number of suspensions in the system.

Our goal is to provide a safe place for kids during out-of-school time to help progress kids academically and enhance life skills. We provide tutors to work with students in reading and math. Shora also partners with community organizations to provide STEAM activities throughout the year. Women and African Americans are behind in STEM related fields and our job is to help close that gap in and around Knoxville, TN.