WAGENER, S.C. (WJBF) – A group of Aiken County teens is promoting their town as a place that welcomes new industry.
Students at Wagener-Salley High School are taking matters into their own hands.
Business Education Teacher Vincent Maivelett oversees the schools newest initiative ‘Students in Action’.
“What it tries to do is get students involved in their community through service,” Maivelett told WJBF NewsChannel 6. “To have them realize you have to take action for things to happen.”
The teens say right now job opportunities are hard to come by and it’s something they are hoping to change.
“Most of us here are young and a lot of heavy-duty jobs for the young people, might not be easy for them to do.” Sophomore Ajaysah Harris said. “So Walmart jobs, grocery [store jobs] are easy for them to do.”
The team wants to see their hometown thrive.
Many of them tell WJBF NewsChannel 6 they hope one day they can come back, get good paying jobs and raise families.
“I would love to come back from college or comeback from any career, and be able to say this is the town that I grew up in.” Senior Zachary Dunbar told WJBF NewsChannel 6.
“Over the years we’ve seen how Wagener has just decreased and we want to increase it,” Senior Krista Tindal said. “We want to bring businesses and we want people to see it as we do.”
The long-term goal is to attract big industry. The students say that would bring more jobs, grow the local economy and eventually improve the lifestyle of the community.
“What are some of the businesses you would like to see here?” Asked NewsChannel 6’s Stefany Bornman.
“I would like to see maybe a Bridgestone or something,” Tindal said.
“Any job that a lot of people can work at like Walmart,” said Harris.
In the short-term the students are giving back to local charities and raising money through t-shirts that embody Wagener’s hometown pride.
“Wagener is hometown place that everybody knows each other,” said Tindal. “You can grow up [here]. You can enjoy life.”
To learn more about how you can help the ‘Students in Action’ team please email Business Education Teacher Vincent Maivelett at VMaivelett@acpsd.net.
In response to last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida the administration at Wagener-Salley High School has implemented heightened security measures. All doors are locked from the outside, but teachers do have keys to open them.
South Carolina lawmakers are currently debating several measures that would make schools safer.Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story.