Thirteen schools encompassing 114 students from across the Commonwealth of Kentucky gathered in Lexington on April the 14th to participate in JKG’s annual Career Development Conference made possible through a grant from AT&T Aspire.
Leadership and employer sessions were offered for the first time at the Career Development Conference. The targeted sessions highlighted the “Discover Your Dreams” CDC theme. Facilitator Cindy Nutwell compared students’ lost and stolen dreams with buried treasure. Throughout the day students worked to create maps to find their lost dreams. The morning and evening leadership sessions ensured that every student left the CDC with their dreams and a map of goals to attain those dreams in hand. UPS, Integrity Staffing, Archer Daniels Midland, and Home Depot complemented the student leadership sessions by sharing available training and employment opportunities.
JKG student Elijah Durham introduced Secretary of Labor Derrick Ramsey who served as the keynote speaker. Secretary Ramsey encouraged the students to dream big and expressed his gratitude for the program. He commended students for their preparation and commitment. Secretary Ramsey stated he would like to see an expansion of the Jobs for Kentucky’s Graduates program into every high school in Kentucky.
Khercie Smith, a four year JKG member of Clay County ATC, received the first ever JKG Outstand Alumni Award. As a medical school graduate from the University of Kentucky, she embodies the success JKG inspires within students. Khercie shared her JKG journey and reminded students that she once sat where they now sit, and they too could discover their dreams just as she had through JKG.
Eighty-four individual medals and six chapter plaques were awarded to JKG students from across the Commonwealth. With the completion of another successful CDC, the future for Jobs for Kentucky’s Graduates looks bright.