WELLINGTON, Fla. — The Village of Wellington is stepping in to help underserved students get guidance and exposure to all that life has to offer.
"I heard about it through a couple of classmates who were in it the previous year," Kojo Kyetermated-Afrani said.
He joined the group in his junior year at Palm Beach Central High School.
S.W.A.G. encourages students ages 16 to18 to finish high school, acquire life skills and pursue advanced education.
Students in the program are recruited from Wellington and Palm Beach Central high schools. They have weekly workshops on character development to financial management, and each student is offered a paid eight-week internship.
Kyetermated-Afrani said he learned a lot from his internship with Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay's office.
"The local legislative process is very important. It's just as important as the national," he said.
Palm Beach Central High School Principal Darren Edgecomb said he averages 10 students each session. He said through the program he sees a change in the kids.
"They're all about their journey throughout this mentorship, the things that they've learned and the light bulb that has been turned on through this experience," he said.
S.W.A.G. is the product of Paulette Edwards. She created the program when she started working with the Town of Wellington.
"A win is to say, 'You know, what I didn't think that this was something I wanted to do, but now that I have been exposed to it, it is something I can see myself doing,'" she said.
The exposure obviously helped Kyetermated-Afrani, who is now in college.
"I'm taking classes at Palm Beach State currently," he said.
Edwards said since 2017, 75 students have participated in the program.