Past Events

Life is a journey… – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Looking back and looking forward

From June 3 – June 7 of 2019, The U-Turn Institute led a partnership with ATS The Bridge, On Point, and CenterStone called PATH Summer Camp. PATH Summer Camp invited a select number of identified Bradley County Middle School students together to focus on finding purpose and a future within themselves and their families. Through personality assessments, small group breakout sessions, engaging speakers, and meaningful experiences, the week culminated in a celebration honoring the students and their accomplishments. Over the course of one week, The U-Turn Institute helped provide over 500 student contact hours, partnered with local business and agencies to provide 200 meals, host and feed a 75+ person banquet, and allowed 30 agencies to provide impactful mentorship and professional services.


We want to thank the following agencies for their partnerships:

  • ATS The Bridge
  • Bellefounte Baptist Church
  • Bradley County Schools
  • Bradley County Sheriff’s Office
  • CenterStone
  • Chick-fil-a
  • Cleveland Bradley County Public Library
  • Cooke’s Foods
  • Deli Boys
  • Drug Task Force (10th Judicial District)
  • Emmanuel Fellowship
  • Farm House Restaurant
  • First Cumberland Presbyterian Church
  • First United Methodist
  • Foundation House Ministries
  • Franklin Academy
  • Hardee’s
  • Honeybaked Ham
  • Lynn Jones Consulting
  • McKee Food
  • Museum Center at 5ive Points
  • Ocoee Middle School
  • Old Fort
  • On Point
  • Reggie Swafford
  • St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
  • Westwood Baptist
  • Wright Brother’s Construction Company, Inc
  • Zaxby’s

On April 13, 2019, The U-Turn Institute was proud to host Russ Taff, the former member of The Imperials and The Gaither Vocal Band. Russ’s story of overcoming hidden shame regarding abuse and alcoholism was displayed through his conversational stories and his amazing musical talent. Alongside a Community Choir supported by multiple churches in our area, Russ offered an evening of hope and restoration at Lee University’s beautiful Pangle Hall.

On March 28, 2019, The U-Turn Institute hosted a premiere viewing of Unplanned, the real-life story of former Planned Parenthood Director, Abby Johnson, turned Pro-Life Advocate. U-Turn partnered with three prominent organizations in our community to highlight their impact relating to pregnancy: Bethany Christian Services (adoption and temporary custody care of children), Foundation House Ministries (crisis pregnancy situations, housing, and job training), and New Hope Pregnancy Center (ultrasounds,  pregnancy education and support options, as well as post-abortive care). Every ticket was reserved for the event and while the subject was very significant, those attending witnessed a life with a dramatic “U-Turn” and challenged to speak louder for life.

On January 4, 2019, The U-Turn Institute hosted their first U-12 Men’s Group meeting. Roger Woods, a former University of Tennessee Chaplain, shared about his desire to encourage men to make changes within their own lives that will impact those who surround them. U-12 Men’s Group has continued to meet every first Friday of each month since.

On December 1, 2018, The U-Turn Institute partnered with Lee University’s Campus Choir to celebrate the 3rd Annual Blythe-Bower Christmas Carnival. We offered free carnival games, live music, free food, as well as a winter clothing giveaway. Although a rainy day outside, Blythe-Bower Elementary was bustling with smiles and laughter the entire time.

On November 16, 2018, The U-Turn Institute traveled to Blythe-Bower Elementary School to host From Nothing to Everything, an evening highlighting our founder, Lynn Jones. The evening included live music, $500 worth of grocery card giveaways, and a free meal for all who attended. This event began our partnership with the Blythe-Bower Elementary School community.

On September 23, 2018, The U-Turn Institute hosted our inaugural event: A Concert and Conversation with Phil Driscoll, the Grammy Award winning trumpet player, singer, and composer. This concert served as the beginning of our events and groups which are designed to assist individuals by presenting high-profile individuals who have overcome difficult situations to find happiness, hope, and healing.

On August 25, 2018, The U-Turn Institute hosted our first Facilitator Orientation. We gathered 20 community members who believed in our mission and equipped them with policies, procedures, and practical skills to help facilitate (“to make easy”) conversations in our diverse groups. U-Turn believes that by investing in our community and our volunteers, we will see growth in our region as a whole!