Students With a Goal (SWAG) began with a remarkable group of 12 teenage leaders who frequently came by the Miller Avenue United Church of Christ (UCC) to get something to eat after school. Among the things they talked about was their desire for an after school program. Following their lead, the pastor of the church brought together a number of non-profit organizations in the Summit Lake neighborhood. Together, they created the framework for the program, collected seed money, and launched a pilot program in January 2013, originally called “Youth Alive,” which met at OPEN M. As the program grew, space was obtained at the Summit Lake Community Center and the newly formed REACH Opportunity Center. Students who were active in the program chose a new name, “Students With A Goal” (SWAG), to best describe the program.
Dedicated leaders of organizations in the Summit Lake neighborhood along with suburban churches formed the SWAG Board, with the United Way of Summit County serving as the fiscal agent. The Board developed by-laws, articles of incorporation, received official status as an Ohio Non-Profit Corporation (2016), and actively seeks funds necessary to sustain the program.