Young, Passionate, SWT (sweet) & Giving
It’s amazing how the concept of giving back can go such a long way when done correctly. For 21 year-old Syreeta Gates, giving back to her community isn’t just a nice thing to do, it’s her passion and continuous mission.
It all started for the Jamaica, Queens native while watching her mother and grandmother as a child. “Both my mother and grandmother were teachers and part of various organizations in which they volunteered their time,” Gates recalls. “They were always giving back in their own way, whether it was with school, healthy eating choices, or relationships.”
As a child Gates immediately took an interest in giving and trying to help her community. “Giving? I been doing that forever. I just didn’t link it with service, that connection came later,” she explains.
In the course of giving back and growing into a young adult, Gates realized she had also developed an interest in seeing young adults doing positive things. One day while browsing the internet she came across a shirt that caught her attention on Polo.com. The shirt was designed by Polo and featured some young adults. Something about it all intrigued her so Gates did her research and called up Polo who transferred her to Divine Bradley, founder of Team Revolution. Realizing the people at Team Revolution were like-minded individuals that could help her develop her skills for giving back, she joined the organization. “I called because I saw young people that looked like me,” Gates replied truthfully. “I never saw that before with Polo.”
The connection was extremely beneficial for Gates. She went on to create jacket of her won with Polo and Team Revolution, which is still being sold in stores. Team Revolution also helped her put things into perspective. It was there that she recognized the extreme lack of participation from young adults in terms of giving back. Unsatisfied with the idea that teens and young adults were simply not interested, she started SWT or Service We Trust, in hopes that she could show young adults that community service is “cool.”