12 For Life Commencement Address: Congratulations to the Class of 2014!

May 23, 2014

Georgia Lt. Governor Casey Cagle delivered the commencement address on May 15th as 12 for Life honored 115 Carroll County high school graduates. These students went from almost dropping out to earning their diplomas with the program’s encouragement.

“Coming from a variety of backgrounds, these courageous young adults have worked their way from having no futures to building bright futures,” said Gary Leftwich, spokesman for Southwire Company, a partner with the Carroll County Schools in 12 for Life. “We are honored to have Lt. Gov. Cagle share his thoughts as we honor these students and their incredible achievements.”

A partnership between Southwire and the Carroll County Schools, 12 for Life motivates students to stay in school through education, employment and encouragement. Students attend classes at their home high schools during part of the day, then work one of three 4-hour shifts at a manufacturing plant tailored to them. Southwire operates a second 12 for Life campus with the Florence City Schools in Florence, Ala. Many Southwire employees choose to serve as mentors, by building relationships and helping guide students through school and life issues.

Since its inception in 2007, 12 for Life has helped more than 675 students finish high school. Program officials expect that number to reach past 850 this year. Forty percent of graduates have gone on to college or technical school. Another 30 percent have joined the military, while 20 percent now work for Southwire or other employers.

Seeing its positive impact on students, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs adopted 12 for Life as the model for its Great Promise Partnership, which encourages students to stay in school. Now a stand-alone program, Great Promise Partnership is expanding to all 159 Georgia counties. Additionally, the White House has endorsed 12 for Life as a model for private-