Legislative Day 2014

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Cedar Rapids Washington High School freshman Jezirae Wright speaks with Representative Art Staed of Linn County, on March 11, 2014, while iJAG Education Specialist John Gianforte looks on.


On Tuesday, February 25, and Tuesday, March 11, 60 students from iJAG programs across Iowa visited the Capitol. Their goal, to share with state legislators their stories of how iJAG changed their lives. To most of them, without iJAG, they would not be on the path to graduation and fulfilling their dreams.

The current Iowa State Budget has only $540,000 allocated to iJAG for the upcoming year, down from the $670,000 granted to the organization last year.

For the past several years, the Iowa Legislature, in partnership with Governor Brandstad, have supported the growth of iJAG programs statewide. iJAG is seeking $1 Million to help with the continued growth of the program into communities with expressed need. For every dollar invested by the Governor and Iowa Legislature, iJAG can successfully leverage $1.85 from private and local supporters. Collectively this will support the start-up of 10 new iJAG programs, and assure that up to 500 additional students obtain their basic academic credentials.

iJAG is asking for the legislature to help us with continued growth in funding of programs in all high schools in Iowa which have students needing and wanting iJAG who can benefit from the program.

Legislative Day
Dubque Senior High School students Teresa Thoma and Jacquies Yates, Representative Pam Jochum, iJAG Education Specialist Jenny Duffy, iJAG Board Member JJ Keene, student Wayne Miller, and iJAG Education Specialist Tim Dolson on February 25, 2014.

 

 

Mason City Students Investigate Wartburg College to See If They Want To “Be Orange.”

Wartburg Visit
On Tuesday March 11, 2014 Mason City students Mari Wilson, Ryan Rubash, Rachel Bonnichsen, and Ruiz Detrick invested a day of Spring Break to travel to Waverly, Iowa to visit and tour Wartburg College.  Wilson, Bonnichsen, and Detrick are juniors, and Rubash is a senior.  While at Wartburg, these students had the opportunity to speak with Todd Coleman (Assistant Vice President of Admissions).  Mr. Coleman emphasized the importance of learning how to study, time management, getting involved, and finding a college or university that is the “right fit” for them.  Wartburg Senior Katlyn Underwood provided the students with a comprehensive tour of the Wartburg Campus.  Finally the students ate lunch with Katlyn at The Den Café and asked her questions about college and Wartburg.  iJAG students will further their investigation of college choices with a visits to NIACC and UNI in April.  Junior Rachel Bonnichsen said, “Today was a great experience, because not too many juniors have the opportunity to go on a college visit and see what it is like to be a college kid.” Even though Wartburg Students were on Winter Break, the crew from Mason City had an opportunity to get a snap shot of what college life is like at Wartburg, and what it means to “Be Orange.”

Lobbying for iJAG

  Legislative Day

Last March the Iowa JAG program ( iJAG) faced a cut in funding of close to a million dollars. Each year JAG programs face budget cuts and compete for funding from public and private sources. The students enrolled in the JAG programs are the most powerful influence when lobbying for funding from state legislatures. The iJAG students recently had an opportunity to witness the legislative process and to assist in the task of securing additional funding for the iJAG programs.

On February 25, 2014 Tatiana McWilliams and Hannah Timmer, seniors in the Mason City iJAG program along with 32 students from Iowa’s iJAG programs convened in the state capital. The students were working toward a common goal, to restore funding to Iowa’s JAG programs.  In 2013 $670,000 was allocated to fund the iJAG programs. In 2014 the legislature cut that number to $540,000. The trip allowed Hannah and Tatiana to share their stories with members of the legislature. Tatiana and Hannah shared how participating in iJAG has affected their lives in a positive manner.

 The additional funding request would support ten new iJAG programs across Iowa and help over 400 students attain the goal of graduating from high school. This was the first trip to the legislature for Tatiana and Hannah as well as most of the 32 students in the group.  It turned out to be a trip that they would not soon forget.

Reprint from article: http://www.jag.org/node/288

Mentorship Program at City High School Promotes Student Engagement

Former NFL player Tim Dwight mentors Ladarius Taylor, senior.
Former NFL player and City High alum, Tim Dwight, mentors Ladarius Taylor, senior.

 

2013 marked the launch of a new iJAG program in Iowa City, at City High School. From the beginning, students have been eager to explore their career opportunities. To further engage the students, their Specialist Sarah Richardson developed a mentorship program in which each student completes a research project using the career interest software Kuder. After researching their top career interests, students identify which career paths they would like to pursue, and a one-on-one mentor is selected. Students meet once per month with their mentor to learn about that career pathway.

The mentorship program has been a great success; iJAG students are connecting with members in the community and learning about careers that they are interested in pursuing, all while establishing partnerships for the future.  Mentors have been enthusiastic in their participation with some bringing materials from their companies to share with students, and others assigning homework for their mentees to complete between meetings. Students have already begun job shadowing with some of the mentors, and one student has even been offered a job with his mentor’s company!

City High grad and elementary teacher Amanda Carey mentors Sylvia Roberts, junior
City High grad and elementary teacher Amanda Carey mentors Sylvia Roberts, junior

 

Jeremy Mims, City High grad, former Nike runner and current UI Admissions counselor mentors Devontay James and Aaron Kimber both juniors
Jeremy Mims, City High grad, former Nike runner and current UI Admissions counselor mentors Devontay James and Aaron Kimber both juniors

 

Keokuk High School iJAG Students Enter Video in Bullying Prevention Contest

iJAG students from Keokuk High School submitted a video into the contest for the Governor’s Bullying Prevention Summit. iJAG Education Specialist, Missy Boutwell, says, “I hope that you love it as much as I do because it’s AMAZING.  My kids did such an awesome job and regardless of whether we move forward in the contest, they made a video that they can forever be proud of.” 

Please help the students win the contest. All you need to do is view the short, inspirational video.

Go to the video and click on Keokuk High School.

 

iJAG Holds DMACC College Kickoff Party

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iJAG's College Success Program held a Kick-Off Party on August 13, 2013.  The purpose of the event was to connect iJAG students to the DMACC campus and other iJAG students. The high school iJAG Education Specialists were in attendance to give college advice to the new college freshman. Students enjoyed pizza and snacks along with a brief talk from DMACC President Rob Denson (pictured standing center) while getting to know the other members of the iJAG College Success Program. 

After lunch students heard from guest speaker, Travis Lloyd (not pictured), who gave the students tips to successfully accomplish their goals. 

The event concluded at the campus bookstore where students purchased books for their classes.

Davenport Central High School iJAG Students Share Their Story on How They Overcame Barriers to Graduate

iJAG students Kristina Simpson and Terriana Hicks are 2013 graduates of Davenport Central High School.  They were asked to share their story on how they overcame barriers to graduate.  These sutdents can be seen on a commercial and several billboards throughout Iowa and Illinois Quad Cities.

 

View Thier Story

iJAG Students Raise Money for the YESS Duck Derby

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Lincoln High School iJAG students sold rubber ducks to raise money for the YESS Duck Derby in May.

              
Together Edina Dupanovic (left) and Porsha Scheierman (right) raised over $400 for the YESS Shelter. To find out more about YESS (Youth Emergency Services & Shelter) go to www.yessiowa.org.

iJAG Student to Start Internship This Summer at Principal Financial Group

Megan Sims, an iJAG student at Des Moines North High School, will start a full-time summer internship in the actuarial department at Principal Financial Group!  This is the first time Principal Financial Group has offered such an opportunity to a high school student.  Megan is a very smart and talented student but this would not have happened if it wasn't for the iJAG/Principal Financial Group partnership!

 

Principal Intern

Pictured left to right; Laurie Phelan - iJAG President, Ryan Ford - Principal Financial Group, Julie Charikov - North High School iJAG Education Specialist, and Megan Sims, North High School iJAG student and Principal Financial Group Actuarial Intern

AT&T Awards iJAG with a $25,000 Incentive Grant

Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), Iowa JAG (iJAG), and AT&T are working together to raise the nation’s high school graduation rate by expanding mentoring, tutoring, and other academic support for students at risk of dropping out. 

JAG programs help underserved students overcome barriers to graduation through mentoring, tutoring, academic support, and links to social services among other interventions. With a high school diploma, students are guided into post-secondary education, entry-level careers or the military.  

In 2011, JAG’s network of affiliates reported a 94% high school graduation rate, compared to the national graduation rate of 78.2%.  Currently, the JAG model is offered in nearly 1,000 public high schools, community colleges, and alternative learning centers in 32 states, including Iowa. Currently iJAG has 31 multi-year, Middle School, and Out-of-School programs operating in 20 different communities. 

Through a Request for Proposal process supported by AT&T, iJAG applied and was successfully awarded a $25,000 AT&T incentive grant.  The funding match requirement will help to assure sustainable long-term operations while increasing the total number of students participating in iJAG. 

All JAG state affiliates on-board through this program must demonstrate the ability to comply with JAG’s national standards of achievement for graduation rates, attainment of meaningful employment, and/or enrollment in postsecondary education. 

“It is rare in our experience for a company to be as thorough and tough minded in its approach of supporting strategies that are proven to work – and then get behind them with both money and critical organizational commitment as well,” said JAG’s CEO and President, Ken Smith. “AT&T has indeed set a gold standard.” 

iJAG helps nearly 2,000 young people annually stay in school through graduation, pursue postsecondary education and secure quality entry-level jobs leading to career advancement opportunities.  In partnership with AT&T iJAG will help even more to get back on track and continue their journey to their career aspirations.