Swag Night: Peoria Police reward standout students - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Swag Night: Peoria Police reward standout students

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PEORIA, Ariz. -

More than 200 Peoria students, mostly junior high kids and 40 school mentors will head to the Phoenix Suns games Wednesday night.

The kids are being recognized for doing the right thing -- staying on the right path and some for turning their life around.  It's all thanks to a special partnership with the Peoria Police Department -- a program called SWAG.

It's fair to say Lesly Gordillo and Zachary Jocewicz are standout students -- freshmen at Kellis High School in Peoria who wear their SWAG proudly.  SWAG meaning students with aspiring goals.

"It actually inspires me to be a better person to continue to move on," said Lesly.

"It symbolizes to me I have the potential to go further in life," said Zachary.

Lesly and Zachary were chosen to participate in Swag while in middle school.

Founder and Peoria Police officer Jim Cousins says 10 kids from each Peoria high and middle school are picked twice a year -- five 7th graders and five 8th graders.

Each group is treated to a SWAG night -- a Suns or Diamondbacks game.

"We work with the principals and teachers there to select students who are good in citizenship, good grades, good in extra curricular activities such as sports.. as band and four kids are chosen as turn around kids who might have had some kind of problems in the past.. they have turned it around," said Cousins.

The SWAG program started two years ago with Jones High School and four middle schools and has since grown to include all five high schools in the Peoria school district and all 20 middle schools.

"Just tell them embrace it, have fun, make life important," said Zachary.

Even though they're in their first year of high school, Lesly and Zachary have graduated to become mentors. One of eight from each high school. Their job much like Officer Cousins, is to provide guidance, encouragement and be examples of success.

Before the game the students and officers will enjoy a fun dinner at the Peoria sports complex where they will all be given special swag t-shirts.

Online: https://www.facebook.com/PeoriaSWAG

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