DETROIT (FOX 2) - Huntington Bank is holding a scholarship event this weekend to ward $100,000 in cash for high school seniors in the city of Detroit.
The bank is encouraging more teens to apply for the SWAG program (Students Wired for Achievement and Greatness) which is a partnership between the Michigan Chronicle and Huntington Bank.
SWAG is a unique program that requires a GPA of only 2.25, which is lower than other similar programs. The reason for this is the bank and the Michigan Chronicle want to look beyond the GPA when it comes to helping young people.
"We look at how are they leaders in the community - different sports teams, how are they are phenomenal human beings - that’s more important. I believe being a good person will lead you further in life any GPA," said Jonae Maxey from Huntington Bank.
Michigan Chronicle Publisher Hiram Jackson echoes that sentiment and says how students perform in the classroom isn't indicative of who they are as people.
"But we’re looking for that child that has exhibits qualities that would show us with a little bit of assistance they can go far. And sometimes you have to dig a little deeper to find that person, but they’re many of them out there, and we encourage more corporations, more corporate executives to get involved in a program like this," said Jackson.
Over the years, the partnership between the two organizations helped award nearly one million dollars to roughly 100 students in the city.
"We’ve had the opportunity to bring some of them on as interns in the company; some have been hired in the company, some have borrowed in the company in their own businesses. We’ve really been able to follow these wonderful young people all the way through their careers. We’ve seen great results in these seven years," said the president of Huntington Bank, Gary Torgow.
Maxey, a Cass Tech & University of Michigan graduate, was a SWAG scholarship winner. She was an intern at Huntington Bank and now plays a crucial role in overseeing their scholarship program.
"Students in high school should really leverage using business cards, staying connected. Get out to get and know people, said Maxey.
This year 15 students will be awarded. The program's goal is to increase that number in the years to come.
The scholarships range from $2,500 to the grand prize of $25,000. You can learn more about the SWAG program by clicking here.