JAG Helps Youth Overcome Academic, Financial & Emotional Challenges, in Year of Unprecedented Disruption
AT&T has provided a generous $1 million contribution to Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG). In the last four decades, JAG has helped over 1.4M vulnerable youth and young adults overcome significant economic, emotional, social, and academic challenges. Today, the same populations JAG was founded to support have been hit the earliest, hardest, and are most likely to be impacted the longest by the educational and economic impacts of the pandemic. This compounds the ongoing challenges of discrimination and inequality many have faced, further underscoring the criticalness of the JAG program and the services it provides.
This support is part of AT&T’s $10 million commitment to create economic opportunities and foster upward mobility for Black and underserved communities who face long-standing social inequities and higher unemployment, all of which are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
JAG serves more than 76,000 young people each year. For 40 years and during the pandemic, JAG participants have consistently achieved outstanding results. This includes the Class of 2019, who after a full 12-months of JAG follow-up services, achieved a 95.7% graduation rate, far above the 84% average national graduation rate. This is especially compelling because JAG serves the lowest performing 20-40% of the high school population. JAG graduates are also 230% more likely to be employed full-time compared to their peers and twice as likely to go to college. In June of 2020, JAG graduates had an unemployment rate three times less (11%) than all 18-19 year olds (33%), which is the age demographic most negatively impacted by layoffs.
As part of the contribution, 14 JAG Affiliates will each receive up to $15,000 to prevent JAG programs from closing amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to continue providing services to JAG youth and young adults in their states. These grants will ensure that over one thousand JAG participants continue receiving the critical support of their Trauma-Informed JAG Specialist, including training in JAG’s 37 Employability Skills Competencies.
AT&T’s contribution supports JAG Affiliates in the following states: Arizona, California, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nebraska, and Kentucky.
“AT&T recognizes the essential work that Jobs for America’s Graduates is doing – and the outstanding results they’re achieving, even amid an unprecedented pandemic. These much-needed funds will help more youth disproportionately impacted by COVID to succeed in school, jobs, and life,” said Ken Smith, President of JAG. “We thank AT&T for their long-time commitment as a partner in our efforts to support our country’s most vulnerable young people and help build a high-quality workforce nationwide.”
“JAG works tirelessly to help ensure vulnerable youth have opportunities for a strong education, a good-paying job, and a high quality of life,” said Stephanie Tyler, Pacific States president at AT&T and JAG National Board Member. “JAG plays a critical role in helping our young people overcome numerous and significant challenges to succeed at school, work and beyond, and their work is all the more vital during this unprecedented time.”
The JAG program includes classroom instruction, competency-based project- based learning, adult mentoring, summer employment training, student-led leadership development, job and postsecondary education placement services, as well as 12-months of follow-up services after high school graduation. Due to COVID-19 and resulting school closures, JAG has pivoted to a virtual model to continue providing uninterrupted services to its participants.
AT&T’s support of JAG is part of AT&T Aspire, the company’s signature philanthropic initiative. With a financial commitment of $600 million since 2008, AT&T has leveraged technology, relationships and social innovation to help give people – regardless of age, gender, race or socioeconomic status – the opportunity to succeed. With this new contribution, AT&T’s support of JAG and local affiliates is projected to have served over 100,000 youth since 2013.
About Jobs for America’s Graduates
The JAG National Network has a footprint across 1,450 communities in 39 states and impacts more than 76,000 youth annually. JAG graduates consistently achieve outstanding results, including a 95.7% graduation rate. JAG graduates are 230% more likely to be employed full-time compared to their peers, and twice as likely to go to college.
About Philanthropy and Social Innovation at AT&T
Our society doesn’t work if it doesn’t work equally for all. We recognize that inequalities are pervasive, and we have a role to play in helping to address them. That’s why we’re committed to advancing education, creating opportunities, strengthening communities and improving lives, particularly amongst historically underserved populations. We have a long history of investing in projects that promote academic and economic achievement and addressing community needs that promote social justice and racial equality. With a financial commitment of $600 million through AT&T Aspire since 2008, AT&T has leveraged technology, relationships and social innovation to help give people – regardless of age, gender, race or socioeconomic status – the opportunity to succeed.