32 Seniors Celebrate Commencement from Southwire’s 12 for Life Program in Florence

Four students awarded inaugural Southwire SkillPointe Scholarships of $10,000 each

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May 23, 2024

Southwire leaders and local school officials joined students’ families, friends and neighbors to celebrate 32 Florence-area graduates from the 12 for Life® program. Since the program's inception in 2007, more than 3,300 students in Georgia and Alabama have received diplomas with support from this public-private partnership that builds better lives through education, employment and opportunity. Four graduating seniors also received inaugural Southwire SkillPointe Scholarships during the ceremony, and 12 have already been hired as full-time employees at Southwire.

“12 for Life is the closest thing I’ve seen to the real world that correlates education and the workforce industry,” said Todd Nix, partnership coordinator for Florence City Schools.  “These young people here are bypassing all the preliminary jobs and have an opportunity to have a career right now. They’re coming out miles ahead, as they’ve learned so much that a lot of people simply don’t have an opportunity to learn.”

12 for Life – a collaborative partnership between Southwire and local school systems in Carrollton, Ga., and Florence, Ala., – provides classroom instruction, on-the-job training, key work and life skills, mentoring and employment opportunities. Through the program, students are motivated to stay in school, graduate and move ahead to become successful, productive members of the communities in which they live. The goal for all students is to graduate from the program with a path to becoming employed, enrolled or enlisted.

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“This program has not only prepared me for life after high school, but it has equipped me with workforce experience at a young age,” said Southwire SkillPointe Scholarship recipient Zoi Peake. “I now have skills and credentials that I can take with me anywhere.”

New this year, Southwire partnered with SkillPointe Foundation to launch the Southwire SkillPointe Scholarship benefiting 12 for Life graduates. Southwire created 10 $10,000 scholarships – $100,000 in funding – for high school seniors participating in either the Carrollton or Florence programs. SkillPointe Foundation is a national nonprofit that develops and manages innovative scholarship driven solutions. To be eligible, students must be on track to graduate high school and have plans to enroll in a higher (secondary) education program, community college, technical school or vocational program within one year of graduating. Southwire Skillpointe Scholarships were awarded to four graduates in Florence this year.

All 32 seniors honored have completed diploma requirements through the support of the Florence program. Former Atlanta Falcons running back Jerious Norwood delivered this year’s commencement address.

“I’ve been in some of the same tough situations that these students have been in,” said Norwood. “In my time over the years with coaches and learning how to become your best self, I’ve been able to retain a lot of that information and kick it back to the youth so they can work to become their best selves. This is just the beginning for them!”

To learn more about 12 for Life, click here. For more Southwire news, visit www.southwire.com/newsroom.