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Sertoma Center was founded in 1961 by the Knoxville Downtown Sertoma Club and met in the basement of First Presbyterian Church. The initial goal of the Center was to train pre-school children for special education classes in the public schools and originally served 17 children.

In 1970, the move was made to Dandridge Avenue and the Center was established as a non-profit corporation. At this time, the Knox County school system took over the provision of educational services for children with special needs. Sertoma Center changed its focus to providing comprehensive life services for adults with intellectual disabilities. The Center moved into its headquarters on Fifth Avenue in 1993 and presently serves approximately 100 individuals and their families.

Major funding comes from the State of Tennessee’s Division of Intellectual Disabilities Services for our current annual budget of $10 million dollars. However, the full extent of our services could not be realized without the vital support of the City of Knoxville, Knox County, and the business community, foundations, civic groups, family and friends of Sertoma Center.



Sertoma Center’s Mission is to provide the programs and services to empower adults with intellectual disabilities to achieve their fullest potential.

Core Values

Excellence in all we do
Passion for our work
Integrity – both personal and professional
Respect for our co-workers and our persons served
Compassion for our persons served
Advocacy for our persons served

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