Molly Blankenship of Chattanooga is the only East Tennessee resident we clearly recognized on the latest listing of the “Forbes 30 Under 30″ honorees.
The Vice President for Talent Initiatives at the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director of Chattanooga 2.0 is one of the 30 cited from the field of education which, in turn, is one of 20 categories that the magazine is recognizing in it 2021 rankings.
Here’s what Forbes wrote about Blankenship: “After a year as vice president of talent initiatives at the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, Tennessee native Blankenship took over partner organization Chattanooga 2.0 in 2019. Her focus: helping students succeed and enter the workforce. She has helped the county’s highest-need high schools add advanced placement courses and classes on preparing for the ACT college entrance exam. She also backed an intensive four-week full-day summer program for students entering kindergarten who had not attended preschool or needed additional pre-K instruction. With $3 million in grants and donations, she estimates that her nonprofit has impacted 65,000 learners.”
With 600 honorees and having to review the names without geographic information available, we clearly could have missed other East Tennesseans. In 2020 and 2019, three individuals – Anna Douglas, Megan O’Connor and Don DeRosa – made the list, all in the energy category. At the time, they were participants in Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s “Innovation Crossroads” program.