Despite the coronavirus outbreak causing school closures and record-high unemployment rates in Nevada, Jobs for Nevada Graduates exceeded national standards across five categories in 2020.
The statewide education-based nonprofit exceeded the Jobs of American Graduates national standard of a 90-percent graduation rate by measuring a 97.8 percent graduation rate for the 2020 graduates including diplomas, GED and HiSet and a 91.7 percent full time placement rate in either employment, college military or combination.
“That really speaks volumes about the students,” said Regional Director Jim Dahl. "I know (J4NG Specialist of Douglas High School) Rick McGuire does a lot of mindfulness curriculums with his students and helping them develop a positive brain space which enables them to deal with things like the pandemic, frustration and it makes a big difference."
Jobs for Nevada's Graduates was established in 2013 when former Gov. Sandoval learned about the positive impact of the Jobs for American Graduates program had in other states. It came to Douglas High in 2016.
The nonprofit organization is dedicated to helping at risk-young people graduate from high school and make successful transitions to postsecondary education or employment.
2019 Douglas High School graduates and J4NG students Tyler Hounsell and Mckinna Jackson lent insight into how they found success and confidence through the program.
“JAG puts you outside your comfort zone and definitely helped in different aspects in my business,” said Jackson.
Jackson was inspired to participate in the program to take a career-driven path out of high school and pursue her goals in entrepreneurship. She now co-owns Mad Dog Café in Woodford’s Station.
“I would recommend going into the class open-minded and no matter how you receive the invite, take the opportunity because you’ll learn valuable lessons not only through the program but also from Mr. Mcguire and your peers because it’s a very hands-on community learning class,” said Hounsell.
Hounsell will receive his Associates of Arts degree from Western Nevada College in December with hopes to become a teacher. He currently works at the Child Development Center at the college to gain experience in the education field.
"There's so much that takes place after the transition of graduation and there's so much more open to them," said Dahl. "Having that guided help and support in addition to having a curriculum that you can adjust to student individual needs removes that barrier."