First Progressive Baptist starts SWAG mentorship program

First Progressive Baptist starts SWAG mentorship program

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

The rain around the area could not keep the folks at the First Progressive Baptist Church from coming out and celebrating the opening of its new mentorship program, Strong Willing Able Generation (SWAG).

"This starts our mentoring after school program, really trying to impact our community, give our teachers some support so when they leave school, we want to be able to come along side the school, provide a very strict curriculum based program to empower our kids to their next," said Pastor Deshun Avery. 

Pastor Avery said he felt called to start SWAG after witnessing the deficiencies facing his community.

"Some of our kids are about three years behind levels of where they need to be in math and English so what we really need to do is provide something so that when they get home, some of them may not even know how to start their homework and so what we want to do is come along side of them and help in that way," he said.

The program is doing more than just making up gaps in education, it is helping kids stay off the streets.

"So many of the pressures on our young people come from drugs or even sometimes broken families and we're starting to see even the trafficking piece pick up here in West Texas and all of that isn't easy for a kiddo to overcome if they don't have self worth and self determination and so building up willing and able generation which swag is designed to do will help foster self worth and that independence," said George Love, principal of Lubbock County Juvenile Justice Center.

While the program is just starting, Pastor Avery said he has high hopes that it will help kids across Lubbock become college ready and to have the discipline to succeed in life.

"What we want to do is provide a discipline environment so our kids can learn and then from there the sky's the limit," he said.

He and his church are looking to bring as many kids into the program as possible and are open for anyone who has a kid or knows of a kid in need. 

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