Why Does Arizona Need Programs Like JAG?
Written by Valley of the Sun United Way
Published on May 3, 2018
Many young people may have multiple barriers to their success, and it can be hard to see a way around them. Jobs for Arizona Graduates (JAG) is a program to help identify their strengths, identify a career plan for after they graduate from high school, and find a way to contribute back to their community once they figure out their career path.
JAG isn’t a required class, but students who enroll participate in the elective class as a part of their regular school day, where they hone specific skills in the areas of professional and leadership development and civic awareness. JAG really believes that every student can achieve what they want to be.
- Only 80% of high school students in Arizona are graduating on time. (Source: Arizona Department of Education 2016 Graduation Reports)
- Nearly 1 out of 6 of Arizona’s young adults are not in school and not working. (Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation, Kids Count 2016)
“Before I joined JAG I wasn’t the best student, getting D’s and F’s… not really motivated. Now, each day I look forward to coming to school because of this program. That really gives me the motivation to do well in my other classes, because to really participate in this program, you have to be doing well in other classes.”
- Jason Reese, Student of JAG
“This not just a High School drop out prevention program, it’s so much more than that. It’s really building leaders”
-Kevin Walsh, Board Chairman of JAG
Through JAG’s intervention, the JAG Class of ‘16 was thriving one year after graduation:
- 99% of JAG seniors graduated.
- 95% of graduates were engaged in further education and/or employment.
- 83% of JAG Graduates are employed.
- 63% of JAG Graduates are enrolled in further education.
- JAG students gave over 18,800 hours back to their communities.
We are proud to break the cycle of poverty with JAG, as we see these students make valuable connections, and take advantage of opportunities to instill wonderful leadership skills to be the leaders of tomorrow.