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Students from Atlanta get to experience Southwest Virginia

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GILES COUNTY (WSLS 10) - From Atlanta to the New River Valley, children from the inner city are broadening their horizons.

For over a week, a group of children from the Peach State, will experience some of Southwest Virginia's Treasures.

Marian Swift is one of 27 who participated in the Bright Futures Atlanta Program.

BFA officials said it started to promote academic and physical growth for youth participants, resulting in personal accountability and positive career development.

The goal of BFA is to help the community of West Atlanta through a positive support system, providing the means and motivation for youth to succeed to become a self sufficient, contributing adult.

BFA officials brought 27 kids to hike to the Cascades in Giles County.

"This is my favorite thing to do hike up the cascade falls, yes, this is my favorite," Marian Swift an alumnus of the program said.

Swift said the program helps teenagers stay out of the streets and do something proactive with their lives.

"I want to be able to let people know, they can do more than what they see," Quinxavier Fallias a BFA student said.

The program started about 12 years ago, and the executive director said the goal is to expose children to more than just their everyday surroundings.

"Expose our kids to other elements outside of what they are used to, the concrete of downtown atlanta, they're able to come here and see the wide open spaces many of kids have never seen a live cow," Phillip Ross, the Executive Director of Bright Futures Atlanta said.

Ross said the since the program started, there's a 100 percent high school graduation rate.

About 20 kids have pursued higher education, Destini Butler, wants to continue the trend.

"I want to major in psychology, I want to be a high school counselor," Butler said.