Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) is a state-based national non-profit, working with young people who are most at-risk. In more than three decades of operation, JAG brings consistent, compelling results, helping students stay in school through graduation, pursue post-secondary education and secure quality employment and sustaining jobs and careers.
  • Youth unemployment is at a record high, especially for urban and minority teenagers, and we know this impacts their lifetime earnings and prospects. Yet at the same time, AT&T and other businesses are struggling to find workers who have the mindset, habits, and skills to help us succeed. Click here for the full article.CTNJ 5 7 16

  • neysha flores

    Looking for more JAG workers!

    Like many Connecticut employers, Neysha Flores, above, a vendor services supervisor with National Waste Associates of Glastonbury, is continually looking for workers who are smart, willing and able to learn, and who have the good work habits to fit in and help her company.

    In JAG, Neysha found a great worker, and she would like to find more.

    “Rossana came to us without any business experience, but she impressed us from the first interview, and she has gone on to learn many different elements of our business,” Neysha said, of Rossana Bustamonte, a Manchester High School JAG student she hired six months ago.

    “When she interviewed with us she was well-spoken and outgoing and made a very good impression. She’s doing a really good job, handling everything from cold-calling new vendors to dealing with emergency situations and different types of contracts.

    “She is a good fit for us,” Neysha continued. “I would definitely hire another JAG student in the future.”

  • Design Thinking: JAG’s Strength and Effectiveness

    "My support for JAG is also that it is not an adjunct program; it is really built into the school day.

    "The strength of this program… is designing backwards from what we want graduates to look like in the end. Working with industry the message is consistently same: They want graduates that think and can problem solve and have the habits of mind to be part of an organization. The JAG Program, and schools that have that focus built in as part of their day, are better able to achieve this. The JAG program really focuses on teaching explicitly those soft skills and what we call habits of mind . You don’t always find that in conventional education."

    ~Steve Pynn. JAG CT Advisory Board member

    "Having been in education for a long time, I have never had a role like this, and it’s very rewarding."

    ~Justine Meyer, Lead JAG CT and Manchester High Specialist

    Excerpts from MetroHartford Alliance's Pulse of the Region, November 21, 2015

  • Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) is a state-based national non-profit organization dedicated to preventing dropouts among young people who are most at-risk. In more than three decades of operation, JAG has delivered consistent, compelling results – helping nearly a million young people stay in school through graduation, pursue post-secondary education and secure quality entry-level jobs leading to career advancement opportunities.


Don’t Be Nervous!

Taking part in mock employment interviews is a standard element of JAG CT activities, very often accompanied by volunteer professionals who visit the class to assist.

They were in full swing last week, as New Britain High School Specialist Emily Carver and Manchester High School Specialist Justine Meyer recruited nearly a dozen volunteers in to work with their students.

Volunteers got a list of interview questions ahead of time, and a rubric they used to rate students on elements such as posture, grammar, body language and completeness of their answers.

“My students really enjoyed the experience and the feedback they received, and are looking forward to heading out for actual job interviews!” Emily reported.

“I felt really nervous going into the interview but once things got going I felt much better, ” said Daishell Roberson of Manchester High. “I’m actually not as worried for a ‘real’ interview anymore!”

Christin20160429_093652a Lumbreras of Arris is pictured above, interviewing Izabella Santos of New Britain High; and Jason Scappaticci of the Manchester Board of Education interviews Solomon Reynolds, at left. Thanks to them and all of the others who volunteered their time!




New Horizons JAG student wins scholarship!

New Horizons senior and JAG student Juan Santiago received a scholarship from  WeCare Community Center, Inc. Saturday night.

Juan joined my JAG class mid year and has been a  positive influence among peers. He upholds and exhibits JAG’s values on a daily basis and I was very happy to assist him with this scholarship application.

“My future feels bright and I believe I can be what I want to be,” Juan wrote in his essay. “Being an accountant is my long term goal and I believe I can actually follow my dream. I would have never thought I would be here today a few years back, but I thank New Horizons and all the positive people in my life for the opportunities  to become a better person and improve on my life skills. ”

This scholarship was created to inspire youth to work hard both in school and out. WeCare encourages young people to apply what they’ve learned to make  positive impacts on their community.  Requirements for the scholarship included a minimum of 2.50 GPA, a graduating High School Senior attending community college or university and an essay explaining how you have helped your community. Juan was more than qualified.

WeCare, founded in 1997, believes that education can transform the lives of  youth and young adults and prepares them for professional careers.

Juan will be attending Gateway Community College in the fall of 2016 and hopes to become a CPA in his future. Great job, Juan!

Juan Scholar 1

Juan is seen here accepting his scholarship with WeCare secretary, Dawn Smith. He is pictured with his father, Miguel.





Interviewing 101

mock interviews 1

Graduation is near and students have been gearing up for life after high school. On April 28, 2016, students in the JAG Program at New Britain High School participated in one-on-one mock interviews with numerous professionals in the school and in the community. Before the interviews, students chose an appealing position that they would apply to in real life and began doing research on that specific establishment. Students identified their personal strengths and aligned them with the company’s mission to make meaningful connections with the potential employer.

Students said that this experience has really prepared them because they now have a better idea of what to expect in an interview setting. Students found it beneficial that interviewers did not only ask the questions they had anticipated, but they also included follow-up questions that caught them off guard.

There were three to four interview stations set up (depending on the class size during that period). Students were matched with an interviewer and were given 10 minutes to sell themselves for the desired position. After the 10 minutes spent with the “employer” was up, the students were given both positive and negative feedback on things they did well and things they could improve upon for future interviews.mock interviews 6mck interview 2

Samantha Kilduff stated “as a JAG participant, I was honored to have the chance to get constructive criticism on a lifelong skill that can open so many doors for me. Having Ms. Fox as an interviewer was challenging, but the best opportunity because she is so efficient at interviewing. I appreciate that she took the time out to help me become more ready for the interviews I’ll come across in the near future. I now feel ready and confident for my soon to come interviews.

Mock interviewers included: Paulette Fox (Executive Director of O.I.C.), Chez Chamberlain (Career Competencies Classroom Instructor of O.I.C.), Liz-Dupont-Diehl (CT JAG Director), Sondra Sanford (Finance Teacher at NBHS), Jenny Jimenez-Sullivan (Career Center Specialist at NBHS), Christina Lumbreras (Engineer at Arris), Andres Sovero (CCSU TRIO Program), and Keylon Levine (JAG Specialist at Hartford Public H.S.).

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