Dwyer High football team learns finance, gets suits as reward


They went from football practice uniforms to business suits in less than an hour at their graduation Thursday night.

Thanks to an eight-week crash course on life, William T. Dwyer High School football players have the tools they need to manage their money as well as they can run plays. Palm Beach Gardens financial adviser Telby Turner taught the team about financial literacy as part of the Suits for Seniors program.

The 33 seniors got their reward at graduation Thursday night: sharp, black suits tailored perfectly for them.

One by one as their names were called, they took the stage to receive their jackets. Their teammates cheered. They grinned broadly, taking selfies with friends as they gathered at the end of the stage wearing their new suits.

There were plenty of cameras snapping in the audience, too. Quinette Lawery was a proud grandma to Earnest Philmore, who came home from the class telling his mom about credit cards.

“It was a good experience. It makes me feel different as a man growing up in the world,” Philmore, of Riviera Beach, said.

His mom, Natalie B. Jakes, said it was rewarding to know someone was investing in her son and his friends. Plus, being a senior with scholarship interviews and graduation coming soon, a suit is a much-needed addition to his wardrobe, she said.

Jervonte Edmonds, a 25-year-old legislative aide to state Sen.-elect Bobby Powell Jr., founded Suits for Seniors to give young men in high school both the mentoring and the wardrobe they need to be successful. Dwyer is one of several schools in the county to participate.

Powell, currently a Democratic state representative, was the keynote speaker at Thursday’s graduation, at which Turner, Dwyer football coach Jack Daniels, Palm Beach Gardens Police Sgt. Dorian Hawkins and college readiness consultant Marlyn Paris-Lawson also offered encouragement to the teens.

Hawkins gave each of them a pin bearing the words “reaching for success” to encourage them to not look back at past failures but forward to future successes.

Powell said even though he has a nice suit, master’s degree and a litany of accomplishments, there were times when he felt inadequate, vulnerable even. Then he asked the young men how they feel when they put on a suit.

“Like a grown man.”

“Respectable.”

“Powerful.”

“Educated.”

Wearing nice clothes changes other people’s perception, but the real change starts within and grows to the outside, he said. He ended by reciting the poem, “The Man in the Glass,” by Dale Wimbrow.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Cerabino: Florida’s NRA mouthpiece reaches for a silencer
Cerabino: Florida’s NRA mouthpiece reaches for a silencer

Florida’s chief NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer is standing her ground in a whole new way. This month, the 79-year-old grandmother and the guiding hand of permissive gun legislation in Florida for decades, filed a 129-page federal lawsuit that is mostly a compilation of the bitter, profane and sometimes threatening emails she received after the February...
Millions fall for South Carolina dentist in viral ‘In My Fillings’ dance video
Millions fall for South Carolina dentist in viral ‘In My Fillings’ dance video

A dentist in Greenville, South Carolina, is inspiring millions to get their teeth cleaned after taking on the Drake-inspired “In My Feelings” dance challenge. Dr. Rich Constantine’s version of the “shiggy” -- a dance inspired by the rapper -- has over 24 million views on Facebook. >> Read more trending...
Dozens turn out for Riviera town hall in call to action to end violence
Dozens turn out for Riviera town hall in call to action to end violence

Less than a week after two people were gunned down in separate shootings in Riviera Beach, more than 50 concerned citizens gathered for a town hall meeting to voice their concerns about the violence plaguing the city. Those who attended the town hall were adamant that the bloodshed must end and came to make their voices heard. Also in attendance were...
Kick added sugar in sports drinks
Kick added sugar in sports drinks

Nike recently launched a Gatorade-colored collection of Air Jordan sneakers in honor of the sports drink’s famous 1991 “Be Like Mike” advertisement, which encouraged Americans to consume brightly hued sugar water if they wanted to emulate basketball star Michael Jordan. Plenty did. Gatorade is still paying big bucks to professional...
Monitoring your health from your living room
Monitoring your health from your living room

NEW ORLEANS - There were termites in the garage and a $2,100 bill to get rid of them. The mechanic had called to say he didn’t know when the car would be fixed. So after a summer day full of aggravations, 73-year-old Ann Ware wasn’t surprised to see the result when she sat down on her sofa, wrapped a blood pressure cuff around her arm and...
More Stories