Students With a Goal Helping Young Adults With Education and Jobs

Jacqueline Zeller

Jacqueline Zeller

Within the Anderson County Adult Learning Center right off East Woodford Street near the railroad tracks is a very special program that aims to help students and young adults finish their education and get a good job.  Called Students with a Goal, or SWAG, the program aims to help young adults that are 17-24 years old to either finish their high school education or, if they’re not young enough, to get their GED.  They’re then offered a spot in their jobs academy program to help get them on their feet as an adult.

The program is amazingly helpful to many students and young adults.  Jacqueline Zeller, director of the center, talked about how they changed the life of a local high school student.  This student got pregnant and became extremely sick during the pregnancy.  This prevented her from attending regular classes at the high school.  She wasn’t sure how she was ever going to graduate as she just couldn’t attend the classes that she needed.

The SWAG program stepped in and helped her.  They were able to finish her education around the pregnancy and sickness and even take care of the child after she gave birth during her classes.  She never thought she could have graduated, but just a day before the ceremony, she passed her tests and was able to walk across the stage to get her diploma with her class.  She is now studying at college and doing well.

The program also helps young adults that have gotten in trouble with the law.  Jacqueline told us of a student that was arrested before graduating and never received his diploma.  After just recently being released, he’s now part of the SWAG program, preparing for his GED while at the same time working at the jobs academy program that the center has setup.

This jobs program is unique where businesses around the county will let young adults work at their business for a five week program.  They are not actually paid by the businesses but instead are paid through the center.  This lets the people in the program determine what area would interest them the most and gives the employer an opportunity to see if they would like to hire them after the program is over.

It also gives opportunities to those that otherwise would never have it.  The local businesses that are participating in the program allow participants that would normally never qualify for their initial screening.  If they prove themselves during the five week period, they are then offered a position.

This is truly an amazing program and a massive benefit for Anderson County.  For more information about the SWAG program and the center, check out their Facebook page.

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Posted in Family & Community, School & Education.

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