The Swansea High School Students in Action Team placed second nationally in the Jefferson Awards Foundation competition. They were recognized for their service learning project which is to promote community service.
The team created and serviced a food pantry from which they fed more than 100 families twice a month throughout the school year. The students chose this project because 90 percent of the community lives below the poverty rate.
Students in Action is part of the high school's Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) program, which is administered by the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce. JAG is a state-based national non-profit organization dedicated to preventing dropouts among young people who are most at-risk. In more than three decades of operation, JAG has helped more than 1 million young people across the nation stay in school through graduation, pursue post-secondary education and secure quality entry-level jobs leading to career advancement opportunities.
"This wasn't the only thing that they did throughout the year. They stuffed book bags with food to give to kids who didn't have food during the weekends, they adopted families for Christmas, made cards for veterans at the VA hospital, held a texting and driving campaign, a Walk for Life and an End the R Word rally – they were really involved," said Tammy Jones, Swansea High's JAG-SC Specialist.
Swansea JAG-SC participants were Nate Winch, Hunter Fairbanks, Seth Hoffman, Ron Bell, Brianna Coots, Skylar Cosentino, Rachel Burns, Ragan Williams, Jerry Mendez, Carlos Arriaga, and Shawn Adcock.
The team's primary function is to promote community service by getting people involved to have a great impact. The team learned they had placed second during a black-tie gala in Washington, D.C. on June 22. First place winner was Lake High School in Uniontown, Ohio.
In 2016, Greenville Technical Charter High School in Greenville, SC, won the top honor.