PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — A high school program dedicated to improving high school graduation rates across Palm Beach County is celebrating a special recognition from the school district.
Jervonte Edmonds, founder of Suits for Seniors, was recently named a Community Leader Gold Medalist Partner in Education by the Palm Beach County School District.
William T. Dwyer High School in Palm Beach Gardens nominated Edmonds for the award.
Suits for Seniors is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping local at-risk high school seniors succeed in life.
"The biggest takeaway is that they have a life plan," Edmonds said. "One thing about society is sometimes in life we get kind of lost from where we're trying to go in life. Our program makes sure our kids have a journey planned out and they know exactly how to get there."
Through an immersive eight-week educational and mentorship program, the organization provides disadvantaged youth with the tools necessary to become thriving, productive, and independent adults.
Every student who completes the program is gifted a custom-tailored suit upon graduation.
"Whatever you wear is your uniform," Edmonds said. "You act according to what you're wearing, but it's really when you have that confidence. It gives you a brand new mindset."
The Suits for Seniors program is currently offered at 10 schools in the district.
During the spring semester, participants learned from community and business leaders in social justice, law enforcement, higher education and finance.
"Each student is offered a mentor to make sure that they are walking to that destination they're trying to get to," Edmonds said. "So, I think our program is one of the best programs."
As Suits for Seniors celebrates its sixth year in Palm Beach County school system, Edmonds hopes to continue his mission and reach high school students in Belle Glade and Pahokee.
He remembers how a custom tailor suit changed his outlook on life and wants to see that happen for others.
"When I put a suit on, it changed the entire perspective of who I thought I was," Edmonds said. "It has done that for thousands of kids as well."
Community and corporate partnerships are the driving force behind the organization.
For instance, the Admirals Cove Foundation offered full-tuition scholarships to ten students last year.
Suits for Seniors is also recruiting mentors to work with the upcoming class of graduating seniors.
Click here to learn more about the program.