It is becoming more and more difficult to select a spotlight program as the strength in JWG continues to grow. However a recent site visit to the Spokane chapter confirmed the good works happening there. Not only should specialist Suzanne Gretch, director Dennis Conger, and their students be recognized for their hard work in the classroom, they have also been instrumental state wide with helping other start up programs get going, and participating with the JWG Board of Directors.
Suzanne Gretch spoke about a recent volunteer opportunity she and her class got to participate in (photo above) she said:
“This was an extremely valuable volunteer opportunity. The students got the chance to practice customer service skills, handle the phone, take payment transactions (credit card and check), be coached from a supervisor, and try to find out information for callers they did not know themselves. They were a little nervous and shaky to begin, but they responded to coaching from myself and the producer, and by hour two, they were pros. They can now put this phone experience on their resume and possibly apply to work in a call center. Before we left, all of the students signed up to volunteer again over the summer because they felt they received great employment training in this situation. If public television in the middle of the state or on the West side has this kind of opportunity available, I would encourage all JAG chapters to sign up.”
To each JAG chapter: enjoy the summer and keep up the great work.
June’s Spotlight shines bright on the students and Specialists at Clark County Skills Center in Vancouver, WA. This program features four elements which really seem to click well together. Currently they serve 80 students with half attending the Academy in the A.M., and half in the P.M., on the flip side they are enrolled in one of the skills program at the Skills Center located on the same campus. JAG curriculum is delivered about an hour each day with two hours of Academy time going toward working on graduation requirements and credit retrieval with the APEX system. Individualized time with structure, a positive work environment and encouragement from Jill Neyenhouse & Kristen Rothwell is often mentioned by students as the element that has contributed to their success. Most mentioned the “family-like” support they felt from their classmates.
Team building is big with these students, time spent on the “Ropes Course” proves to have been a good investment of time and tied nicely in to the leadership element of the program. Students were busy preparing and rehearsing their graduation presentations during last week’s site visit by OSPI, it was very exciting to hear them talk about their futures & career plans.
Marylyn Conger from the Puget Sound Skill Center shared an update on her program activities:
“Puget Sound Skills Center has been participating in the JAG program since the beginning of the year. The students are learning employment skills from the JAG curriculum. Many students have used the interview skills they have learned in class to obtain positions with local employers. At a local teen job fair one of our students gave his resume out and received two job offers. The office manager here at the skills center has provided a work based learning opportunity to several of our students. These students have learned valuable work skills by working in the PSSC office. The majority of our students are finishing up their credit retrieval programs and will be ready to graduate from their home schools with their class in June. At our special end of the year VITAL program, the JAG members will be honored.”
Kitti Wheeler and her students have earned the spotlight for the month of April. The Clover Park Alternatives for Individuals High school joined the JAG program this school year with Kitti as the lead and she is an MVP as a JAG specialist.
In an interview earlier this year Kitti stated that she is “passionate about getting students involved in their schools and community.” She and her colleagues are working on assignments to prepare students for what life is really like after high school. “My goal is to reintroduce AIHS into the community and to establish partnerships so that students know that people want them to succeed,” she said.
With this outlook and positive attitude, there is no doubt the JAG program at AI High School is on a path to success. Students from the AI JAG program have been selected to speak to the legislature on April 7th about what the JAG program means to them and why it’s significant. Learn more about their program here.