As in-person events came to a standstill in March 2020, Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates (JAG) was faced with a choice to cancel all events or find a way to go virtual. The non-profit opted to embrace the virtual space and has successfully produced two online events since May. Their most recent, Celebration of Success Kickoff Event, premiered on YouTube on September 17th and had over 90 people watch the festivities live in the virtual space.
JAG hosts the event each year to celebrate the beginning of the new school year and share the previous year’s accomplishments. “Although this is not the way we envisioned the celebration,” said Kevin Walsh, Chairman of the Board for Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates, “we were excited to share the accomplishments made this past school year and recognize the dedication and hard work of our JAG Coordinators.” JAG partners with school districts, the business community and the public sector to help students stay in school with a focus on graduation, student achievement, youth empowerment, and career planning.
The Arizona State Senate would like to recognize the accomplishments of JAG students, past and present, and the dedication of Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates to provide their students with the skills and resources they need to succeed in school and work. ~Proclamation
This year marks a special occasion for JAG as they celebrate their 40th anniversary serving Arizona’s students. To mark the occasion, Senator Kate Brophy McGee opened the celebration with a reading of a Proclamation by the Arizona State Senate recognizing the years of accomplishments of Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates. Governor Doug Ducey and the president of Jobs for America’s Graduates were among the guest speakers featured during the event which was hosted by two JAG alumni – who kept the audience engaged between guest speakers and the awards presentation.
“5 of 5” National Performance Standards Award Presentation
The “5 of 5” National Performance Standards award represents the consistent hard work and dedication of JAG Coordinators who successfully provide 12 full months of follow-up support services to students after high school graduation; JAG has earned this award 17 years in a row. This year’s award was presented by City of Tolleson Mayor, Anna Tovar. “As a JAG Alumna, I am so proud to be a part of this legacy,” Mayor Tovar said. “These achievements mean more every year as JAG continues to grow, serving more Arizona youth in more communities across the state.” Mayor Tovar is a member of the Jobs for America’s Graduates National Board of Directors and an alumni of the Tolleson Union High School JAG program in Tolleson, Arizona.
Success and Recognition
The audiences excitement came through the virtual chat room as Trinetta Lipsey, Director of Programs and Training, announced the final “snapshot” data for the Class of 2019. “As this year’s events have transpired, our JAG students have continued to inspire,” she said. “I am very proud to share that the Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates Class of 2020 had a 98% on-time graduation rate.”
I am very proud to share that the Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates Class of 2020 had a 98% on-time graduation rate.” ~ Trinetta Lipsey, Director of Programs & Training
Data for the Class of 2019
At the end of the Follow-Up period, the graduating class of 2019 met and exceeded JAG National performance standards with:
98% of seniors graduated
73% of graduates were employed
54% of graduates were attending post-secondary education
95% of our graduates were engaged in school and work (combination of post-secondary, employment and military service)
100% Middle school students promoted to high school