LAWRENCEVILLE - Behind the counter, surrounded by the latest phones, wireless technology and dozens of lighted screens, Jennifer Magwood looks sharp. She blends in nicely with her fellow employees in an olive green polo with the AT&T logo, pinned-on nametag and khakis. It's almost impossible to tell she is only 17 years old and not a full-time professional sales representative.
Magwood, a rising senior at Central Gwinnett High School in Lawrenceville, is participating in a 6-week apprenticeship program sponsored by AT&T and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, an organization that mentors youth in finance, nutrition and academics. It is the apprenticeship program's first year and Magwood is one of 11 students to be chosen nationwide, each of whom were selected by their specific Boys & Girls Club unit.
Magwood has been part of the Boys & Girls Club unit in Lawrenceville for nearly five years and is a member of the Junior Staff, a program teaching leadership skills to youth aged 13 to 18 by allowing them to mentor the younger children.
"I love working with kids. It's the main reason I'm working there now," Magwood said.
Taking into account academic performance and community service involvement, Magwood became one of two students in the Lawrenceville unit to be considered for the program.
"I was thinking, 'I hope you'll pick me,'" Magwood said. "I was excited they did."
Magwood works from
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays in the AT&T Experience store in Buford, focusing mainly on customer relations and learning how to use the technology.
"The job shows me how to work with people and be a people-person. I always have to keep a smile on my face, even when someone comes in with a not-so-great attitude," Magwood said.
Steve Sitton, president of AT&T's wireless operations in the southeast, was proud to be working with the Boys & Girls Club to give students like Magwood opportunities to experience life in the work force. Sitton previously visited the Boys & Girls Club in Gwinnett and was impressed at the leadership roles high school students were taking within the club.
"I was just amazed at the kids in there. They were so well-behaved," Sitton said.
"I feel like in order to support, you have to be involved, and the Boys & Girls Club is a worthwhile cause. I'm passionate about youth. That's our future."
Magwood hopes to attend Georgia Southern University or Emory University and dreams of being a physical therapist.