Dr. Martin Estey visits New Horizons

New Horizons students were visited today by Dr. Martin Estey, Executive Director of The Hartford Consortium of Higher Education, parent company of JAG CT.

Since his was a new face to most New Horizons students, I introduced Dr. Estey and explained that he would meet individually with each student to ask questions about how they feel about the JAG program.

“Whenever you meet someone new, you never know if that person will have something to offer you,” Dr. Estey stated.

While JAG frequently brings in guest speakers, Dr. Estey showed the importance of proper communication skills by taking each students through a short interview with him. After speaking with all students, he gave a $10 prize to the student who impressed him the most – just as the most impressive candidate in a real job search comes away with the job

Dr. Estey stressed the importance of active listening as well as presenting your own thoughts clearly. “It is so important to always show respect, interest, and professionalism.”

At the conclusion of the exercise Dr. Estey presented senior Nick Davis with a reward. Why Nick? “I was polite and professional, like I always try to be,” Nick explained.

We then discussed, as a class, the importance of presenting a professional self, the dynamics at play when an employer has to select one person for a job, and what specific things students can do to show interest and respect and develop a rapport with people, even when they don’t yet know them well.

A special thank you Dr. Estey for visiting us!


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Teamwork works at New Horizons

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Senior New Horizons students Nick Davis, Terrance Draughn, Lamar Parker and Ronnaisa Shepard demonstrate effective teamwork during their JAG class. New Horizons’ JAG students were given the task of working with straws and masking tape to create a structure which will be used to catch a golf ball, dropped from 3 feet.

As a JAG specialist, I focus on teaching my students how to recognize successful teamwork both in school and the workplace. Several of the JAG competencies include team membership and team leadership.

Each team was given the same materials and the freedom to create their structure. Such activities support crucial skills including an ability to work effectively and respectfully with diverse teams, flexibility and willingness to help each other in making needed compromises to accomplish a common goal, and sharing responsibility for collaborative work. Students also saw individual contributions made by each team member.



Lombard: It’s Your Money, and You Are In Control Of It


NEW HAVEN – Do you remember walking nervously into a bank to open up your first savings or checking account, only to get swarmed by tellers or financial advisors who asked numerous personal questions and wanted you to sign papers you did not understand? Patricia Lombard does. And she sees it happen every day. “Be empowered! Don’t feel intimidated by banks and bank tellers,” the Webster Bank assistant manager told a group of Hillhouse JAG students on Wednesday, May 13.

Ms. Lombard addressed two classes of JAG students and imparted her knowledge in a number of areas, including opening your first savings and checking accounts, the advantage of direct deposit, debit cards vs. credit cards, service fees (primarily about convenience) and overdraft fees, and what a credit score is, how to build good credit, and why that is so important.

“Your credit score is your reputation on paper. It’s about paying your bills responsibly,” she said.

webster_bank_1Lombard informed students that late in their senior year, they will begin to receive their first credit card offers from banks like Discover, Chase, Capital One, and First Niagara. They will offer you an opening balance around $500 just for opening the card, even if you don’t have a job. The best way to start earning a good credit score is to make small purchases on the card and to be sure that you pay your bill on time and in full. To do that, students will need money in the bank.

Students can open a savings account once they are 16 years old. Checking accounts need to be opened as a joint account with a parent, guardian, or trusted adult, up until the age of 18. Lombard mentioned that students can begin to create their independence with photo identification (license or permit, passport, town hall photo, etc.). Because of the Patriot Act, bankers need to identify you, so you will need a form of identification, your social security number, and proof of residence to open a savings or checking account.

Finally, she encouraged everyone to check their bank and card statements every month and to be cognizant of their balances and how much they are spending.

“Nobody is going to take better care of your money than you are,” Lombard reminded students. “Don’t leave it up to anybody else.”