Panther Youth Partners Bring Opportunity to Okeechobee (AUDIO INCLUDED)

Pictured left to right: Kiwanis members Ken Keller, Paul Varillas, Panther Youth Partnership program specialist Alexandra Navarrete and Kiwanis member Sandra Varillas

South Florida State College and Career Source Heartland have partnered up for the Panther Youth Partners program. The program assists youths ages 16-24 with career preparation activities, soft skills training and career planning.

Alexander Navarrete is the Program Specialist and spoke recently to the Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee to promote the program. Navarrete says they are looking for fifteen in-school students struggling in math and reading with a 2.0 GPA. Candidates for the program must meet income eligibility requirements.

The goal of the program is to get students re-engaged in school to improve their grades, attendance and receive their diploma.

The program provides work experience to the participants, Worker’s Compensation coverage, payroll and taxes through a payroll leasing company and a liaison to address any challenges or needs of the participant or employer.

Employers and businesses that participate provide work experience, supervision, signatures on time sheets that are provided, feedback and possible future employment.

To learn more about the program, log on to or call 863-824-6032