Spending a weekend in Memphis, you immediately get a sense of history: civil rights, rock and roll, the blues, barbeque. But digging deeper -- visiting with community leaders, nonprofit directors, school principals -- something else is revealed: a fierce determination, commitment, and vision to change the statistics and story for Memphis's most vulnerable children. We are proud to be playing a small part in what is truly a "renaissance of obligation" in Memphis's ongoing mission to redefine "our children" as inclusive of every child, in every neighborhood -- with the tireless goal of ensuring that each child has a real opportunity to reach his or her potential.

Our mission is to engage students and recent college graduates to address community needs, empowering a generation through collaborative efforts to promote change in the communities we serve.

Impact America - Tennessee now operates a full-scale program with a team of fourteen based in Memphis.  We also serve communities around Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga.

You can be a part of the story through a year of service with Impact America - Tennessee.  We are accepting applications for full-time 2019-20 Corps Members now!

Learn more about the Corps Program and apply >


% of preschoolers who receive adequate vision screenings.

FocusFirst Impact Stats

2018-19 Results:

25,346 Children Screened

2,503 Children failed the screenings (10.1%)

691 Head Starts and Daycare Centers served

Results Since 2014 (as of June 2019):

60,544 Children Screened

6,101 Children failed the screenings (10%)

1,782 Screenings at Head Starts and Daycare Centers


% of EITC recipients in Memphis who pay a commercial preparer - on average, $400 per return.

SaveFirst Impact Stats


5 tax sites opened in Memphis

2,201 tax returns prepared for working families

$2.1M in refunds claimed

$880,400 in commercial tax prep fees saved


6,392 free tax returns prepared

$8.3M in refunds claimed

$2.5M in commercial tax prep fees saved

still photo of three girls screened by FocusFirst

We are proud to share the stories of Rachel, Chevy, and Savannah — three very special girls from Nashville for whom FocusFirst saved their eyesight.

still photo of JacksonJackson's mom had no idea he had a severe vision problem until FocusFirst visited his daycare. See his story.

Want to get involved with Impact America - Tennessee? The Impact Corps Program is a yearlong service and leadership program designed to place talented, committed recent college graduates directly into communities we serve. Corps Members plan and execute all initiatives that operate in their state of service as well as recruit and manage the service of college students as they participate in those initiatives. You'll learn about poverty through lenses of education, health, and economics—all the while making a real difference in the lives of families living in poverty.

You can be a part of the story through a year of service with Impact America.

SaveFirst Resources:

SaveFirst / Tax Prep Volunteer Training Materials

Child Care Center Resources:

Download FocusFirst Screening forms: English / Spanish




Each spring, Rhodes College offers a course on poverty with a requirement of service learning with our SaveFirst initiative.  Additional students volunteer with FocusFirst.

University of Memphis nursing students have participated with FocusFirst to provide free vision care to hundreds of children in Memphis. Business and social work students volunteer with SaveFirst.

Christian Brothers University has sponsored a poverty course that incorporates SaveFirst as a service learning component. Additional students have volunteered with FocusFirst.

The University of Tennessee has been instrumental in launching FocusFirst in the Knox County area.

Impact America - Tennessee's pilot tax site was housed at the Binghampton Development Corporation, a strong partner that is helping us with community outreach and relationships.  Our tax site at BDC is in its third year and continues to thrive!

Sight Savers America coordinates all follow-up care, provided free of charge, for children who fail FocusFirst vision screenings.

The Southern College of Optometry coordinates follow-up care for all children who fail the vision screenings conducted by FocusFirst in the Memphis region.

We are proud to be a partner agency with the Junior League of Memphis and are excited to have its members volunteer with SaveFirst.


Impact America is an AmeriCorps Program.