(WSVN) - Tests and homework are every day challenges at school. But for one group of Broward students, some of their homework takes place out in the community. Thanks to their coach, they’re learning real-life lessons by reaching out to those less fortunate.
7’s Alex De Armas is here with the story.
When school’s in session, you can always find Christina Rozier coaching her basketball teams at Somerset Academy in Miramar.
“Coach C” grew up in Liberty City. Life was hard, but basketball was her ticket to college, winning a scholarship to the University of Washington.
When she’s not on the court, she’s coaching kids about important life lessons through her school club S.W.A.G., which stands for students with a goal.
Coach Christina Rozier, S.W.A.G.: “Giving is key. Doing right to others is good. The first thing we did is we started feeding the homeless. We gave water to Michigan when they had the big water drought. We made donations to five families at Thanksgiving, giving them gift baskets and clothes give away. We just on-the-go. It’s a blessing.”
Her first group of 25 S.W.A.G. members has grown to 180 over the last four years. Whether it’s feeding the homeless or sponsoring a toy drive, the kids say it’s great to give back.
Amaryia Jackson, S.W.A.G. student: “When I got to look at all the things that we’ve done, and seeing how strong those people are in the situations that they’re in, I feel like that made me a stronger person.”
S.W.A.G. leaders like Amaryia and Caleb also mentor younger students, learning important leadership skills along the way.
Caleb Taylor, S.W.A.G. student: “They’re looking up to me and it makes me feel like really special, and that I’m helping them getting to where they need to be for college. It helps me know that I’m helping them.”
Every month, S.W.A.G. members also work with kids in foster and group homes, like Miami Bridge, an emergency home for kids in crisis. Today, they dropped in to spread some holiday cheer.
Coach Christina Rozier: “Just grab one from each pile to put in your stocking.”
Coach C says each experience is character-building for her students.
Coach Christina Rozier: “I can see a lot of change in them. When we go to these places, I can see their demeanor, their character change and afterwards. They say, ‘Wow Coach,’ they say I see life a little differently.”
S.W.A.G. students don’t hesitate to join in on the fun.
But they’re also very aware of the challenges others face.
Amaryia Jackson: “Being in S.W.A.G. has opened my eyes to always being thankful. I’m thankful for the fact that I have clothes, thankful for the fact that I have a home.”
Coach C believes working in the community also teaches her students to be compassionate to make good choices and ultimately be successful in life. Bringing their A game with them where ever they go.
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