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Discovering passion and taking action

Terry Liggins: Clinton High School

Terry Liggins is a senior at Clinton High School (CHS) and part of iJAG’s 11/12 program. If you ask Terry, he will tell you that before joining the program, he had no career plans. Now, he has invested in discovering what his passions are and how to pursue them. When asked why Terry loves iJAG at CHS, he said “iJAG feels like a family who cares about me as a person and what my future goals are.”

Meet State Career Association Officer: Adriana

Adriana Jimenez

Like many students, Adriana Jimenez attended an iJAG class uncertain of the opportunities that would transpire. Listen to a special video testimony where she talks about her journey from the first day she stepped inside an iJAG classroom to where she is today. “iJAG honestly changed my life,” said Adrianna.

Student Spotlight: “If it doesn’t fit my morals and goals, it doesn’t deserve my time.”

Melanny Garcia Flores

Melanny Garcia Flores came to the United States in September 2016 from El Salvador. She was held at an immigration center for two months in Texas until her uncle was able to get custody and take her to New York. In July 2019, she arrived in Storm Lake to live with her aunt. This journey was very difficult for a nine-year-old, but she perceived it to be an inspiration to work hard so that she could have better opportunities. She also wanted her siblings and parents to be proud of her given the sacrifices they had made for her.

A students’ take on Legislative Days

Legislative Days with Sisi

Legislative Days give students the chance to meet with local and state leaders to promote the impact of iJAG and share their personal stories and aspirations for the future while putting their leadership and soft skills into practice. This year, more than 250 students visited the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines across two separate days. During the event, we were able to catch up with iJAG senior, Sisi, of Cedar Rapids Prairie High School. Read more in this article about her journey from Africa and how our program has inspired her plans for the future.

iJAG Systems of Support

What’s the importance of iJAG’s middle school program model? A comprehensive support system filled with strategies that help youth remediate early onset academic challenges, get connected with community resources at a young age, and receive awareness about potential career paths!

Be a virtual judge! The 2024 Career Development Conference

Volunteer and support the state’s largest youth leadership conference of the year! iJAG is looking for virtual volunteers to judge preliminary student competitions between February 5 – 9, 2024. Competitions include Business Plan, Career Prep, Prepared Speaking, Project-Based Learning Showcase, Employability Skills, and the L.O.V.E. Project.

iJAG student wins statewide skilled trades competition

Matthew DeSchamp Jr

Our drive to jobs in skilled trades is creating sparks! As employer partnerships continue to grow, so do opportunities for our students.

Just last week, iJAG student Matthew Deshamp of GMG High School earned first place in a welding competition open to students across the state. The competition took place at the Skilled Trades Convention hosted by the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Iowa.

Iowa student leaders shine in D.C.

iJAG on Capitol Hill

Earlier this month, eight student leaders joined staff members for an annual trip to Washington, D.C. From meeting up with iJAG alum and National Career Association President Kira Canada for some sight-seeing to visiting with Iowa legislators on Capitol Hill before attending the National Student Leadership Academy (NSLA), this trip was filled with unforgettable experiences that help shape our young people and the future of iJAG.


iJAG Alumni Network

This fall, we were thrilled to launch the iJAG ALUMNi NETWORK with kickoff events in Des Moines and Iowa City. With more than 30 alumni in attendance, it was humbling to hear firsthand how our program and Education Specialists have made a life-changing impact on their careers and lives.

Arconic + iJAG Manufacturing Career Expo

Arconic Career Expo

On October 20, Arconic hosted more than 200 Quad Cities area iJAG students for a first-ever Manufacturing Career Expo. The event was held at the Arconic Learning Center with six different occupations/units represented. Those included skilled trades (Roll Grinders, Machinists, Electricians), Information Technology, Engineering and Production.