Today’s Initiation and Installation ceremony at East Hartford High School was a great success, with Career Association officers and members sworn in before illustrious EHHS alumni such as U.S. Congressman John Larson, Senator Tim Larson, Richard F. Kehoe, City Council President and State Director for U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, and State Representative Jason Rojas. Also present was State Representative Henry Genga, who shared his own experiences as a JAG Specialist at EHHS.
JAG Career Association Presidents John Drew and Marangelys Suarez offered remarks, followed by the elected officials, and Dr. Martin Estey of the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education, JAG’s parent program.
John Drew contrasted his high school experience before and after becoming involved with JAG, which he credited with helping him focus and do better at school and at work.
“I was that one kid teachers secretly did not want in their class,” John said. “…JAG is what unlocked that special part of my brain and made me start thinking and realizing that good things aren’t going to just come to me. If I want a successful future, the beginning of that road starts now…I used to look at my report card and be happy with Ds because that’s what you needed to get credit….I made a huge transition and now give everything my best effort.”
Thanks to all who attended, including the many parents and relatives of JAG students, Assistant Superintendent Anne Marie Mancini, Shelby Brown of the EH Board of Education, and Kim Andy of the Department of Labor, JAG’s funder. Thanks also JAG CT Advisory Board members Steve Pynn and Andrea Comer for taking part, and to the many EHHS staff and faculty who attended, especially to Principal Matt Ryan and Michelle Vigue, Department Head for Career and Technical Education, for their strong support. And finally congratulations to EHHS JAG Specialist Patty Damiani and her students for their hard work on the event.
Rosie Bustamante, a student in the follow-up portion of the JAG program, has recently accepted a position with National Waste Associates in Glastonbury. Rosie will begin her full-time, benefited position early next month. She graduated in the spring from Manchester High School. Congratulations Rosie!
JAG Students at the NBHS Satellite Careers Academy were proud to welcome Prof. Trevor Johnson and his compatriots to our JAG classroom this past Thursday, November 12. Prof. Johnson works in the Criminology and Justice department at Central Connecticut State University and has worked in CT court systems in recent years. Introduced in conjunction with the students of Mr. Kerrigan’s Career Planning class, Mr. Johnson’s presentation focused on entering the career field of criminology with the right mind set.
The presentation focused on opportunity and attitude. Students were asked personal questions about their lives, values, and how they were raised. Their situations, coupled with a drive to succeed and the maturity to work in an ever growing, taxing field like Criminal Justice were key components in his list of traits an individual needs to become a part of his world.
Several students in both classes have expressed a desire to enter the field of criminology and as such found Prof. Johnson an entertaining and informative source of information; expressing how his sentiments regarding the value of maturity and dedication to one’s goals fell in line with the JAG Competency curriculum’s focus on these values in the holistic attempt to better the career identity of incipient professionals.
Following Prof. Johnson was retired Air Force veteran Paul Peterson. His presentation focused on entrance and maintained membership into the armed services of America. Having served our country, Mr. Peterson provided an insider’s look into the comings and goings of what it meant to be an officer: presentation of one’s self, attentiveness to detail, and the application of effort. The theme of application of one’s skills was evident in both presentations as noted by students after the fact. Mr. Peterson finished his presentation with this wonderful sentiment in reference to the wearing of hats and respect paid to veterans in public places: “I don’t care what’s on your head. My greatest concern is what’s inside it.”
We at the Satellite Careers Academy branch of JAG were honored by their presence and would like to extend our sincerest thanks for their truthful and informative presentations.