NASHVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 5, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The YWCA of Nashville & Middle Tennessee is thrilled to announce it is partnering with Reese Witherspoon's new retail brand—Draper James—to bring economic literacy programming to at-risk Nashville girls. The partnership targets girls in the YWCA's Girls Inc. program and kicks off with a free conference for teenage girls and their mothers/mentors next month, sponsored by First Tennessee Bank, a part of First Horizon National Corp. (NYSE:FHN). The Oscar-winning actress is coming back home to Nashville and will appear at the conference.
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"As the largest provider of domestic violence services in Tennessee, we see too often how financial dependence and insecurity can trap women, preventing them from being safe and reaching their full potential," said YWCA CEO Patricia Glaser Shea. "Teaching and reaching girls at an early age that they are responsible for their own finances is the best form of prevention. Financial independence will allow each girl to follow her dreams and become the best she can be."

The Draper James partnership will also open the doors to opportunities the Girls Inc. participants might not otherwise experience, including an internship program at the Draper James retail store located in the trendy 12 th Avenue South neighborhood.

"Draper James is proud to partner with Girls Inc. to give young women a foundation for economic stability and the confidence that comes with it," said Draper James CEO Andrea Hyde. "As a company led by women and rooted in the South, we are committed to giving the young women of Nashville the economic education they need to not only build their future, but also the future of their communities."

Longtime YWCA supporter First Tennessee Bank is sponsoring the kickoff Girls Just Want to Have Funds conference on Tuesday, Oct. 27. The event will offer fun, interactive financial literacy training and tips for teenage girls and their mothers or mentors.

"As the largest bank headquartered in Tennessee, First Tennessee partners with organizations that positively impact the lives of many, like the YWCA," says Carol Yochem, Middle Tennessee president for First Tennessee. "We are excited to continue that tradition with our support of the Girls Just Wanna Have Funds event and look forward to combining our efforts with Girls Inc. and Draper James."

Space is limited, with priority registration for high school girls enrolled in the Girls Inc. program and Metro Nashville Public School teens and their mothers or female mentors. The free event includes a family-style dinner. To register or learn more, visit

About YWCA of Nashville & Middle Tennessee

For 117 years, the YWCA has helped women, girls and families in Nashville and Middle Tennessee build safer, more self-sufficient lives. In addition to operating the largest domestic violence shelter in Tennessee and a 24-hour-a-day crisis and information line, the YWCA operates the Family Literacy Center to help women and men earn their high school equivalency diploma. Dress for Success Nashville provides professional clothing for women who are entering the workforce. Girls Inc. inspires hundreds of Nashville area school girls each year to be strong, smart, and bold. The MEND initiative seeks to reduce all violence against women and girls by elevating the issue, engaging men, and educating boys. For more information on all of our programs and services, visit, follow us on twitter @YWCANashville and find us on Facebook

About Draper James

Draper James is a Southern inspired retail brand that embodies the personal style and sensibility of its Founder and Creative Director, Reese Witherspoon. The website launched a direct to consumer business in May 2015. The first store is slated to open in Nashville in October 2015. Designed in-house, the collection consists of ready-to-wear, accessories, and home décor. A large portion of the product is manufactured in the US, specifically the South. The retail store footprint will initially expand to other Southern markets with a wholesale and licensing roll-out starting in 2016. For more information, please visit

About First Tennessee

First Tennessee Bank was founded during the Civil War in 1864 and has the 14th oldest national bank charter in the country and one of the highest customer retention rates of any bank in the country.  First Tennessee and FTN Financial are part of First Horizon National Corp. (NYSE:FHN), which has 4,300 employees.  First Horizon has been recognized as one of the nation's best employers by Forbes, Working Mother and American Banker magazines. More information is available at

CONTACT: Michelle Mowery Johnson | YWCA         (615) 983-5125 direct (615) 424-0544 cell         Tracy Oakley | First Tennessee         (615) 734-6219 direct (615) 513-4331 cell

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