ALEXANDRIA, Va. December 18, 2021 — Today, Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), a national nonprofit serving 75,000 youth across 1,500 communities in 40 states, is recognizing Principal Foundation for supporting Jobs for America’s Graduates Kentucky (JAG KY) through an Emergency Relief Fund with a pledge of $24,500. The donation will directly benefit relief efforts to 350 JAG KY students and their families affected by the tornadoes that devastated portions of South and Midwest Kentucky last Friday evening and Saturday morning.
“This has been a devastating week for Western Kentucky and the entire state. JAG KY students and their families have been impacted in many ways from loss of property to displaced family and friends. However, JAG KY students in these areas, along with their peers statewide, are serving their communities by loading trucks with supplies, collecting donations, and providing support wherever needed to strengthen those in need. These are special young men and women. It’s the JAG spirit in them wanting to give back. I couldn’t be prouder of these students. Principal Foundation shares this same JAG spirit and has supported our JAG KY family in a big way with their contribution of $24,500 to help our more than 350 students and their families in trying to recover and restore during this time of devastation. From the bottom of our hearts, we can’t thank Principal Foundation enough for their sincere support,” said George Stafford, co-executive director, JAG Kentucky.
The JAG program, which serves youth who face significant academic, environment, economic, and social challenges, provides a Trauma-Informed instruction through a JAG Specialist, who teaches JAG’s 37 Employability Skills Competencies through Project-Based Learning. The program, which engages employers to prepare youth for employment during and after high school, has an incredible success rate. Over 90% of JAG graduates complete high school, with at least double the rate of employment and post-secondary enrollments as compared to non-JAG students.
Because of the program’s focus on Trauma-Informed Care and wrap-around services, traumatic events such as the recent tornadoes spur the JAG National Network and its partners into action to support youth and JAG Specialists who are affected.
“JAG students regularly exhibit perseverance in the face of adversity and a passion to strive for excellence and achievement for themselves and their communities. The combination of those characteristics, and the specialized Trauma-Informed care JAG provides to help the students nurture and harness their strengths, are why we support JAG. The recent tornadoes will test the students’ resolve as they and their families recover, which is why Principal Foundation was compelled to take immediate action to provide specific support for the more than 350 Kentucky JAG students impacted,” said Jo Christine Miles, director, Principal Foundation and community relations.
Principal Foundation has supported and invested in the JAG program for 20 years, starting with a partnership between iJAG (Iowa-JAG) and Principal in 2001. In that time, Principal® has hosted dozens of iJAG interns – providing them with valuable work experience and resulting in many job offers and successful careers. In 2020, the Principal Foundation expanded its support with an additional grant to JAG National, bringing Principal financial literacy curriculum and support to JAG youth across 40 states.
“We couldn’t be more grateful for the investment by Principal Foundation in the young people of JAG, especially at such a critical time of need for our youth in JAG KY, as we work with them and their families to rebuild and recover. It’s one thing for partners to be with you in support of your mission and programs through mutual strategies, but to be there when the unexpected occurs and our young people are in immediate crisis that disrupts access to basic needs, is critical and truly appreciated,” said Janelle Duray, executive vice president at JAG National.
About Principal® Foundation
Principal Financial Group Foundation, Inc. (“Principal Foundation”) is a duly recognized 501(c)(3) entity focused on providing philanthropic support to programs that build financial security in the communities where Principal Financial Group, Inc. (“Principal”) operates. While Principal Foundation receives funding from Principal, Principal Foundation is a distinct, independent, charitable entity. Principal Foundation does not practice any form of investment advisory services and is not authorized to do so. 1963613-122021.
Principal community relations has a focus to build financial security in communities where Principal Life Insurance Company® operates. Insurance products and plan administrative services provided through Principal Life Insurance Co., a member of the Principal Financial Group®, Des Moines, IA 50392.
About Jobs for America’s Graduates
Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) helps young people of truly great promise succeed both in school and on-the-job, leading to productive and rewarding careers. JAG is organized to support State Affiliates in the high-impact delivery of the JAG Model across middle school, high school, and out-of-school and collegiate young adult populations. The JAG National Network has a footprint in 40 states, across 1,550 communities, impacting more than 75,000 youth annually since 1980.
Sr. Communications Specialist