Douglas High School J4NG program initiated nine members as officers and inducted 19 members Wednesday during the Jobs for Nevada Graduates Initiation & Induction Ceremony at the Douglas County Community and Senior Center. Photo special to The R-C by Tod Young
More than 20 students were recognized during Douglas High School’s Jobs for Nevada Graduates Initiation and Induction ceremony on Wednesday at the Douglas County Community and Senior Center.
“I am very proud of this year’s group,” said Douglas High School Jobs for Nevada Graduates Specialist Susan McDonald. “They planned the whole ceremony all while developing their jobs skills and future plans for employment.”
Not only that, but the program celebrated a decade of creating 20,000 successful and career-ready young Nevada professionals.
The program was established in Nevada in 2013 when former Gov. Brian Sandoval learned about the positive impact it had in other states. It came to Douglas High School in 2016.
McDonald said the ceremony was different than it has been in the past.
“It felt more personal,” she said. “I think it’s important for students to have a sense of belonging in the community and to have that support and that’s what the ceremony is for, to know they have people who support them to be successful and a part of Douglas County.”
McDonald said Douglas County District Court Judge Nathan Tod Young had a lot to do with creating a sense of community.
“He really made a connection with the students and the community and talked about the freedom and possibilities students have in exploring careers and that the community supports them in that search,” said McDonald.
Young presented the initiation address and presented certificates to the students during Wednesday’s ceremony. Other guests included, Douglas County CTE Director Cade Balligad, Assistant Director Educational Services Leslie Peters, J4NG Team 2 Program Manager Kristel Ann Galarce and District 17 Nevada State Sen. Dr. Robin Titus.
“I really appreciate each of them taking the time to be a part of our ceremony and coming to support the students,”said McDonald.
Jobs for Nevada Graduates, known as J4NG, is associated with Jobs for American Graduates, a national nonprofit organization that guides youth through education and career paths for brighter futures.
“When I first joined this program my sophomore year, I wasn’t in it for the right reason,” said Junior and Career Association President and Junior Chief Executive Officer Stella Rae Bradley. “All I cared about was how it would look on my college application, but it truly changed my perspective on my future and what I wanted to do with my life. It changed my values.”
According to the J4NG website, drop-out rates are high across Nevada and many students struggle to graduate or to find career pathways.
J4NG helps students overcome those challenges through a caring adult, who can provide mentoring, support, inspiration and career readiness.
“Thanks to this program and its many resources and benefits and of course Mrs. McDonald, who deserves all the recognition I can give, because she is the one who saw potential in me and encourages me to become the leader I am today,” said Bradley.
McDonald wanted to thank the Douglas County Community and Senior Center for allowing the program to use the facility.
“They were very accommodating, and the view room created an elegant space for the students to take their pledge, it was beautiful,” she said.
2023 J4NG Officers
Career Association President Junior Stella Rae Bradley
Chief Exectuitve Officers Senior Brylee Vanetten, Junior Stella Rae Bradley, Sophomore Mishka Adkins.
Chief Communications Officers: Senior Sam Tills, Junior Flame Patrick, Sophomore Emma Crawford.
Chief Financial Officers: Senior Tara Nuzum, Junior Adrian Dominguez, sophomore Elijah Canales.
2023 J4NG Inductees