Source: The Booster; Author: Stephanie Gonzalez
Jaziel Sandoval won this trip by writing a 5oo-word essay on how to be a leader. He placed first in JAG-Kansas competition and was awarded an expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. "The only thing I paid for was one lunch," Sandoval said.
Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) is an organization taken as a class that offers skills to students to prepare for real world jobs. Jaziel Sandoval, one of the many students who took the class, was elected vice-president of the JAG Turner High School Career Association.
Although the trip was to be taken seriously as a learning experience, Sandoval enjoyed the opportunity to go to the Capitol Mall to tour the monuments. While attending the National Student Leadership Academy, he attended various leadership seminars that included team building activities. He described one activity where strings were tied to each of the group members’ index fingers and when they threw the end of the rope to the middle, the facilitator gathered all the strings and pulled on them. "We quickly understood that we're in this all together…if one goes down, we all go down," added Sandoval. “In a group, we are dependent on each other.”
Sandoval learned to be a better leader, the seminars showed him how patient he really is, and how socially outgoing he can be. He described his favorite memory with a smile on his face. "One of the teachers called me while I was getting ready for bed and wanted me up on the eighth floor…immediately! So I grabbed my chips and panda bear and ran out the door in my pajamas. When I got there I thought something bad had happened? All she wanted was a head count."
After his Washington, D.C. experience, he said he would do it all over again if it were possible. He was very thankful that the program had given him hope to graduate and was looking forward to a better future.
Jaziel Sandoval’s JAG-Kansas Specialist, Lucretia Sutherlin at Turner High School in Kansas City, Kansas, supplied the photos.