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Mentorship program for young girls giving mentees "S.W.A.G."

JACKSON, TN (WNBJ) - The City of Jackson is spotlighting service in the community. The city of Jackson awarded Ella Watkins for her work in the community as august’s Hub City Hero recipient.

The Hub City Hero is awarded to people in the community who embody selflessness and continually give their time to improve the lives of others in the community.

Ella Watkins is working to empower young girls as they matriculate through school.

Watkins is a retired Jackson-Madison County school teacher who is now the founder of S.W.AG., a non-profit that counsels young women.

“S.W.A.G.. is a mentoring program for young girls five through 18. We do a lot of leadership training, a lot of events, college tours, and try to educate the girls on a lot of life skills that they don’t get from home,” said Ella Watkins, the CEO, and Executive. Board member of S.W.A.G.

SW.A.G. has been servicing the community for six years and works to create a space for learning and fellowship.

“The meaning behind S.W.A.G. is to me is Sisters With Aspiring Goals. That’s a group of young girls where they can come together, work together, learn how to get along and when your sisters are in trouble you should be right there to help pick them up,” said Watkins.

Another S.W.A.G. board member says the organization is a safe haven for young women who need guidance as they go through life.

“I think it is a worth-wild program especially for girls of today. They need examples of women doing things or just people, in general, doing things. That will give them the sense that they can do anything they want to do. Whatever their goals are they can work towards their goal with the help of somebody around them,” said

Freddie Mitchell, the Board Chair at S.W.A.G.

A junior at Madison Academic is a participant in the program and loves it.

“When we say a sisterhood and a community we really do mean it. All of the mentees are very close and tie-knit. The mentors and board members really care about you. They say if you need me to call me and they really do mean it,” said Kirsten Herron, a mentee.

If you or know someone who would like to become a mentee with S.W.A.G., you can contact Ella Watkins at 731 – 803 -4504.

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