The Jobs for Michigan's Graduates (JMG) program is an affiliate of the national Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) program. JMG places emphasis on the completion of a high school degree or obtaining a GED and a successful transition into employment, post-secondary education, and/or the military. The program offers mentoring, job readiness training, and leadership development for students at-risk of dropping out and/or students who have previously left the education system. The program operates in 18 Michigan cities, serving around 1600 students. In the last academic year JMG achieved a 97% graduation rate.
This fall, fifty students who are participants in the Jobs for Michigan's Graduates (JMG) program met at the Anderson House Office Building for their annual State Leadership Day. On October 29th, high school students, stakeholders from the public and private sector, local legislators, school officials, and community members attended the gathering to learn more about state leadership.
The keynote speaker was Representative Jeremy Moss of Michigan's 35th District. Representative Moss spoke to students about his journey to becoming a young leader. He told the crowd that during his run for City Council, his "biggest asset was his youth." Representative Moss also threw out a challenge to the students by saying, "Don't let age, or youth, or inexperience stop you from doing anything, because people are hungry for young people who show initiative and who are excited to take on leadership roles."
In addition to learning about the state leadership process and Representative Moss’ talk, the students took a tour of the Michigan State Capitol Building including the House and Senate galleries. The tour guide was able to tell students historical and contemporary information about the building and provide information about the legislative process.
House Floor Representatives Triston Cole, 105th District, and Harvey Santana, 9th District introduced the Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates students who were honored. During the leadership event Representatives and Senators met with students from their districts. The students spoke with the Representatives and Senators about leadership and were able to share with their legislators what the Jobs for Michigan's Graduate program means to them the impact it has had on their lives.
The experience that included touring the Capitol, being announced on the House Floor and meeting with the Legislators allowed the JMG students a day that encouraged leadership behaviors and developed a deeper understanding of the characteristics it takes to be a strong leader.