Students Travel to Nation’s Capital

DSC_0236RENTON, WA –Eighteen students and three chaperones from the Renton School District traveled to Washington, D.C., December 1 to attend Jobs for America’s Graduates National Youth Leadership Academy. About 650 students from 32 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands attended a variety of workshops and social activities to help develop their career and college readiness skills. The conference kicked off with a formal award luncheon to celebrate JAG’s 35th anniversary and to recognize people who have helped build the program. The luncheon also featured student singers and speakers. There is a competition component of the conference, and the Renton delegation had four competitors, two in Employability Skills, and two in Math Skills competition. This was the first year that Washington students have been represented in the competitions.

Before the conference, Renton School District students had the opportunity to attend a Constituent Coffee with Senator Patty Murray. Senator Maria Cantwell’s office provided a capitol tour for the group, and then the students met privately with Senator Cantwell, where discussion turned to a need for school lunches that are not only healthier, but also appeal to student tastes.

While in Washington, D.C., the students visited the Washington Monument, toured some of the key memorials, and visited Arlington National Cemetery where they watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and presentation of a JAG wreath. They also visited some of the Smithsonian museums and capped off the conference with a visit to a local mall. On one of the mornings while students were in session, two Renton chaperones, Kara Crum and Kerri Dowd, were invited to the Veteran’s Hospital in Bethesda, MD, to meet the oldest living female veteran, Alyce Ellis-Dixon, who is 108 years old.

The group returned to Renton on December 6th.

Donors make a difference in our students’ lives

Thanks to our generous supporters, JWG students from Mt. Tahoma High School were able to attend the JWG Career Development Conference at the Great Wolf Lodge, receive bus passes to get to new jobs and purchase interview and work clothing. Here is what they had to say about JWG and the impact of their JWG specialist, Chris Sieg.

Mechela: If it wasn’t for JWG I would not have graduated, have a job, or have a place to live or even be in this state. JWG and my specialist got me back in the state and found a homeless shelter for me to live in. He also helped me graduate and then get a job at Anthony’s restaurant as a hostess. There is so much I can write about my experiences with JWG and my specialist, who was always there for me. I received transportation, food and clothes. My specialist stored and moved my belongings and even helped me find a place to live. I am a high school graduate all because of JWG!

Maria: My specialist helped me get a paid internship with CFM Consulting and provided my mom with gas cards so she could take me to work. I started out at $9.50 and hour part-time working after school. I received a raise to $10.00 an hour. JWG and my specialist helped me with interviewing and how to be successful at work. I was hired full-time for the summer and now I’m making $12.50 an hour and am in charge of four interns. I earned high school credit through this job and will keep it through my senior year.

Marquise: I graduated this June and am scheduled to enter the Marine Corps in September. I have never spoke in front of a group of people or nor have I ever been to a place like the Great Wolf Lodge. My biggest fear was to publically speak and I was not going to compete because of my fear. I went to the completion and decided to compete in public speaking at the last minute. I won a silver medal. During my time with JWG I was an expected father to be. I received a lot of support from my JWG specialist. I graduated and I am now a proud father of a daughter named Karen.

Vitaliy: I have never been outside of Tacoma for a vacation or a field trip like the Great Wolf Lodge. It was a chance for me to dress up and compete against my peers. I was able to perform well enough to win a silver medal. My specialist prepared me for the conference and also prepared me to become employable this summer. I received a job with the City of Tacoma through the Summer Jobs 253 program. I’m looking to stay employed through my senior year.

Erika: Being pregnant in high school is difficult. Going to the Great Wolf Lodge was a great experience. JWG and my specialist was very supportive and I learned a lot from the time we spent together. I graduated and had my baby. I am planning to go back to work at Safeway and continue my education at Tacoma Community College. My specialist was also my worksite learning coordinator and the credit I earned helped me graduate.

ADM Cares about Student Success


Archer Daniels Midland Company recently donated $25,000 to Jobs for Washington’s Graduates (JWG). The donation will go toward improving graduation and employment rates for low-income and disadvantaged students enrolled in the JWG program statewide. Funds will be used to purchase computers; items needed for employment such as interview clothing and bus passes; and pay for college and career-related field trips providing experiences outside the classroom that build the foundation for success after graduation.

”ADM’s partnership is critical for the success of our students. This generous donation will open doors for hundreds of youth that otherwise face limited opportunities,” said Kim Browne, Executive Director of Jobs for Washington’s Graduates.

Jobs for Washington’s Graduates is a drop-out prevention and workforce readiness program that helps at-risk youth overcome barriers, enabling them to graduate from high school and successfully transition to post-secondary education and quality entry-level jobs. JWG students receive intensive career and job readiness preparation, leadership development, school-to-work transition services, academic remediation, and college placement services, including ongoing support for a full year after leaving school.

Initially rolled-out in 16 Washington schools in 2010, Jobs for Washington’s Graduates has expanded to 44 schools serving 1,200 students in 28 school districts.

The donation was given through ADM Cares. ADM Cares is a social investment program that directs funds to initiatives and organizations that drive meaningful social, economic and environmental progress worldwide. The program comprises three distinct focus areas: supporting the responsible development of agriculture, improving the quality of life in ADM communities and fostering employee giving and volunteer activities.

Media Contact:
Kim Browne
Executive Director
Jobs for Washington’s Graduates

JWG Foundation Grant Supports Student Success at Stanwood High

The mission of the JWG Foundation is to provide financial resources to support JWG programs enabling students to reach their goals for graduation and work.

The JWG Foundation awarded $1940 to the Stanwood JWG program. The funds were used to help students directly with barrier removal and assistance with obtaining items needed for employment.

How the funds were spent and key student benefits:

  • The funding was able to help 15 students with items such as books, GED testing fees, and work boots.
  • 70 students benefited from the leadership opportunities from our open house and a graduation celebration. We held a fashion show to showcase our formal lending program, JAGWear. It was very successful with our participants, staff, and SHS students.
  • Three students were given yearbooks to celebrate their accomplishment of reaching graduation. None of those students could afford this.
  • One of our students who had to move away from Stanwood was able to get his GED through assistance from JWG funds. He is researching getting into further training.
  • A student who received help with getting his driver’s license is working full time with benefits in a marine diesel mechanics apprenticeship.
  • Work shoes helped a student with his first job at McDonalds, he is now working full time in a meat packing apprenticeship.
  • Work boots and socks helped four students who obtained full time work. One student wore his boots at graduation from Alternative school. He was proud!
  • All of those students are still employed at jobs with good futures.
  • Funds have helped with purchasing needed text books (rentals) and a computer program so a young mother can graduate in June through Running Start online courses as well has SHS courses.
  • A student who has made up much credit through online and credit retrieval was able to access his last course needed for graduation. This student comes from a family in economic need but who are very supportive of their son.
  • A homeless student was able to get her WA State ID card.

Celebrating One-Millionth JAG Student

Jobs for America’s Graduates, a national non-profit with 35 years of experience in helping some of the nation’s most at-risk young people succeed in school and on the job, announces the enrollment of the one-millionth student since the inception of the organization under the leadership of Governor Pete du Pont in 1979.

Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) now operates in 1,000 classroom sites in 31 states.  It provides intensive employability skills training, motivational student organization activities, remediation, academic support, and problem-solving for external issues that affect young men and women.  JAG students receive a full 12 months of follow-up after graduation to ensure their successful transition into work, higher education, or both.

The results of JAG have been consistent for 34 years:

  • Dramatically increasing graduation rates to 90% or above.
  • Doubling the rates that poor, disadvantaged, and young people of color are able to secure jobs and tripling the rates that they secure full-time employment.
  • Increasing the rates of both higher education enrollment and completion for this same population – almost all first-generation college students.

Governor Jack Markell of Delaware serves as Chair of the Board of Jobs for America’s Graduates and nine other Governors serve on the Board, along with “C-suite” executives of the Fortune 500, the U.S. President of the United Way Worldwide, and the Presidents of the Business Roundtable and the National Urban League.

Governor Markell highlighted the “One-Millionth JAG Student” milestone by stating that it is “a special pleasure for all of us in Delaware who, for 35 years, have seen what an extraordinary value Jobs for America’s Graduates brings to young people.  It is a record of hope, opportunity, and delivery on the promise of jobs and higher education success for our young people.”

The “One-Millionth JAG Student” will be celebrated at the JAG National Leadership Awards Luncheon at noon on November 20 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Washington, DC.  More than 600 young leaders from around the country will attend, including those 31 who have been selected (one from each JAG state) to represent the “One-Millionth JAG Student.”  They will join 250 leaders from business, government, education, and communities who support and invest their time and reputations in the work of Jobs for America’s Graduates.

“[Before JAG] I had no direction in life and really felt that I would never do anything in my life. That is all in my past now. I know I belong in JAG. I know that I am loved and cared for. I know that I can achieve great things – things I never imagined at one point in my life. I have a plan for a wonderful future, for JAG has given me hope!” said Autumn Keith, Jobs for Georgia’s Graduates One-Millionth JAG Student representative.

In addition to Governor Jack Markell, it is anticipated that Governors Jay Nixon of Missouri, Phil Bryant of Mississippi, and John de Jongh, Jr. of the Virgin Islands (all JAG Board members) will attend.  Senator Tom Carper of Delaware (Vice Chair of the Board during his years as Governor of Delaware) will also participate at the event.

Governor Phil Bryant will become the JAG Chairman on January 1, 2015.  Regarding his attendance at this special event, the Governor stated that he is “humbled to be the Chair-elect of this high impact, proven program.  I look forward to continuing our efforts in Mississippi to grow Jobs for Mississippi Graduates from the current 50 to 100 programs, and as Chair I will work to increase the number of JAG programs across the country as we look ahead to serving the next one million JAG students.”

The event will highlight the remarkably generous investment of USA Funds in the work of Jobs for America’s Graduates and its new direction, to help ensure that JAG’s students achieve a higher level of success in graduation, higher education, and employment.  At the Luncheon, USA Funds will receive the National Student Investor of the Year Award for its investments in JAG and several other initiatives in various states to improve students’ successful enrollment in and completion of higher education.

McKinsey & Company will be recognized for launching its “Generation” Initiative that, over the next four years, will engage 250,000 young men and women in the a new form of engagement with employers to provide intensive training over 8-12 weeks, followed by two-month internships.  McKinsey & Company will receive the National Youth Employment Partnership Award for its leadership in building new relationships and connections between prospective employers and young people as they graduate from high school.

JAG National Performance Outcomes

Jobs for America’s Graduates National Network: Five-Year Performance Outcomes for the Classes of 2009-2013

(Rounded to whole numbers)

Outcomes Goal 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Graduation Rate 90% 94% 93% 94% 92% 91%
Employment Rate 60% 54% 54% 54% 55% 59%
Positive Outcomes Rate 80% 81% 79% 78% 77% 79%
Full-time Jobs Rate 60% 66% 67% 68% 70% 71%
Full-time Placement Rate 80% 88% 88% 89% 89% 90%
Further Education Rate NA 48% 47% 45% 43% 43%

1. Dramatically increasing graduation rates to 90% or above across 1,000 classrooms in 32 states
2. Doubling the rates low-income, disadvantaged, and young people of color are able to secure jobs and tripling the rates that they secure full-time jobs.
3. Increasing the rates of both higher education enrollment and completion for this same population.

• The Graduation Rate was 91% – exceeding our National Performance Goal of 90%.
• The Positive Outcomes Rate was nearly 80% – Working, in college, or a combination
• The Job Placement Rate was 59% – Double the employment rate for this at-risk population and we tripled the rate they were able to secure full time employment
• The Full Time Jobs Rate was 71% of those working – (Three times the national average.)
• The Full-Time Placement Rate was 90% of those in positive outcomes – working, college, or a combination.
• The Higher Education Rate was 43%