“I was that one kid teachers secretly did not want in their class.”

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.P1020109

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.P1020112

“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. P1020104

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