ACES ‘Champion’ Trey Vereen to attend FAU

BELLE GLADE — Venanza “Trey” Vereen, a Student ACES Center-recognized Champion of Character in his senior year at Glades Central Community High School (GCHS), has been a four-sport player and quite a scholar, too, in his four years. He ended up with a grade point average of 3.6 overall.

Lake Okeechobee News/Courtesy of SAC
Venanza “Trey” Vereen has been honored as a Student ACES Center Champion of Character from Glades Central High School.

Trey is set to attend Florida Atlantic University starting this summer and will be studying sports-related fields.

Asked about his experience with the Student ACES Center, or SAC, he said: “I got in it around my sophomore year. I had learned about it in my freshman year but I didn’t really understand it — like, know what the whole thing was about other than a program for student athletes. I thought, ‘Oh, OK, that’s pretty cool.’ And the opportunity came on in my sophomore year, and I pretty much jumped on that. And what I’ve learned from it was how to become a better leader.”

Looking at this tall young man, one can easily surmise from his solid, lanky frame that he’s done a lot of running. Indeed, his sports were cross country, football, basketball and baseball.

This year, though, high school spring sports and athletes have taken it on the chin from the COVID-19 pandemic, so baseball teams had a very short season.

“Football, basketball and cross country were able to finish before the coronavirus hit. We didn’t really do that good (at GCHS), in football; basketball wasn’t one of our best records; and baseball wasn’t allowed to finish,” Trey said.

He’s more or less shrugging that off as graduation time approaches.

Some valuable lessons he listed that he acquired through the SAC’s mentorship programs and lessons:
“I’ve sort of matured a lot more, learned how to work better with others, either in a team, or in small groups or large groups and become more outspoken.”

He’s worked on projects through the center and had a lot of mentorship from adults.

Asked who at the SAC helped him the most, he really couldn’t decide.

“Pretty much all of em. Krissy (Executive Director Krissy Webb), KD and, specifically, Buck Martinez. He’s mainly the one who came to me when I first started. When I arrived here, he didn’t know who I was, and I didn’t know who he was, but … he took me aside and told me that he sees that I’ll be a leader one day and I just have to work at it. Yeah, he was the first one to basically tell me,” Trey recalled. (“KD” refers to Khadeidra Fletcher, director of the SAC.)

So presently, young Mr. Vereen’s plans are: “I’m now going to FAU, majoring in exercise science and health promotion and things like that.

“All summer classes will be online and they’ll keep us updated as far as the fall goes.”

He’ll attend FAU classes in all three summer sessions, just in front of a screen for now.

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