JAG program improves in its second year
October 31, 2017
Douglas High School held its second annual Jobs for American Graduates initiation ceremony Oct. 19 where students were recognized for their accomplishments and inducted into the program.
New to Douglas High in 2016, JAG is a state-based national nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing dropouts among young people and helping them to not only graduate, but become successful citizens.
"Last year was really successful," Rick McGuire, JAG Specialist at the high school said. "We ended the year with about 37 students and this year we have around 59, so it has gained some popularity."
McGuire said after a year of experience with the program, he has a better understanding of the curriculum and is more comfortable presenting it to the students.
"We're going to introduce some new curriculum and do a lot of good things this year that is going to be an impact on kids," he said.
Through team building exercises, impromptu speeches and community service JAG teaches students life skills including how to dress for an interview, how to create a resume, how to talk to an employer and co-workers and how to act or continue to act once a job is snagged.
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"People ask me what JAG is and I tell them it boils down to three objectives. First, get kids to graduate. Second, teach a variety of job skills and third try to put them on a career path and teach them how to do that. My biggest goal is to have kids become adults who are happy, enjoy what they're doing and can support the life style they choose."
JAG is something students can take with them after high school whether they are going to college, joining the workforce or enlisting in the military.
"It's really opened up different career opportunities," said senior Steven Rogers. "I didn't really have a clue what I wanted to do after high school, now I do."
Rogers plans to attend Western Nevada College after he graduates then continue on to the University of Nevada, Reno.
"I think it's a great program," Rogers' mom, Carla said. "He comes home with a good attitude and talks about it more than his other classes. As a single mom, it's important from my perspective for my kids to get involved in career opportunities and this program is great at showing them how to do that."
As part of the program the instructor keeps in touch with members for six months to a year after graduation and guides them in what ever they are pursing.
"We're into our one year follow up with graduates. They should be full time college students, full time work, in the military or a combination of all," said McGuire. "By the time we're done with the requirements of the follow up they should be either in any of the above or they're on their way to accomplishing or pursing them."
Douglas High School graduate Braydon Abbott who was president of JAG last year said the program has helped him prepare for college and make improvements on his resume and interview skills.
"Coach McGuire really has it together," said Abbott. "It's interesting to come back and see how far this program has come." Abbott is now a student at Lake Tahoe Community College pursing a degree in physiology and sociology and wants to become a Cognitive Therapist.
"Coach McGuire has always believed in his students and has shown interest in what we all want to do. He and this program has helped guide me and anyone who joins pursue what they want," said Abbott.
2017 Douglas High JAG Members
6th Period JAG 1
Fernado Basaldua Osornio
Joeclyn (Jay) Esparza
Jaden WrightJenica Mariscal
4th Period JAG 2
2nd Period JAG 3