CDC Competitions: Individual Events

JAG students and participants apply their skills and passions in competitions with their peers at the 2022 Career Development Conference.
May 27, 2022

Individual Event Competitions at the Career Development Conference (CDC) provide individual JAG students and participants the chance to lean on their own talents and abilities to strive towards placing as a finalist. 

The individual events are centered around creative writing, art and design, public speaking, math, business, community involvement, and job/career preparation. Each competition showcases what JAG members have grown throughout their year and ultimately, they offer an empowering opportunity to celebrate strengths and weaknesses. 

Paradise Valley Senior Dana Furman moved to the U.S. from Ukraine for a year-long exchange student program that began in August 2021. While in the JAG program, she worked with her peers and community members to fundraise for Ukraine relief efforts. After gathering local support and even spreading the word to local news outlets about the fundraiser, around $3,800 has been raised to help people in Ukraine. 

As Community Service Champion, she has volunteered 272 hours since August. When asked about how she found these opportunities to give back, she responded, “There are always a lot of things you can do to volunteer. You don’t really have to search for them. There’s a lot of ways that we can help.”

Ayden, an incoming junior at Coolidge High School, won 3rd Place in Entrepreneur Executive Summary and Math Skills. The opportunity to compete in these events made him realize that even though this was his first formal competition experience, he enjoys competing and the chance to hone in on his skills and ambitions. 

“I haven’t done anything like this before – actually enter competitions in the real world against other people to see where I stand…. [My favorite part was] the anticipation of seeing how well you did and seeing in what ways you can improve yourself by seeing how other people did, and it’s a better motivator than most things for me.”

Treasurer of Tolleson Union JAG and Senior Luis Alquisira was a finalist in the Interviewing Skills Event that took place in March, and as finalist, he had the chance to interview again with a panel of five new employers at the CDC. He won 3rd Place in the Interviewing Skills Competition and for him, the experience overall helped him strengthen his confidence and gain the real-world practice he needed for his future. He will be studying physics at NAU this fall. 

“What I learned the most is that I overthink it too much before I actually get there,” Alquisira said. “I learned that it may be a little nerve-racking but once I'm there in the moment, it’s just a completely different environment than I make it out to be….I learned that I should go into it with a little more confidence and reassurance that it will be all right.”

For Zion, an incoming junior at Coolidge, placing 2nd Place in the Writing Skills Competition gave him a boost in confidence for his writing. The Writing Skills Competition challenged participants to write to the conference theme of “Ignite Your Light – Greatness Lies Within.” Zion chose to write a narrative poem to match the theme’s essence.

“This father and his child go to this bonfire to light it as a family tradition, and when the kid looks into the bonfire, he sees all of his possible futures as a businessman, lawyer, construction worker, lumberjack, chef, etc… The father told his kid to look at what he wants to do, and to hold onto it and work for it. It came from a combination of personal experiences and stuff that I’ve read.”

The Career Development Conference is an invaluable experience for all of our JAG members from middle school to community program participants, there is an event or workshop there for everyone. As the largest event of the year with competitions and workshops that open up JAG members to further personal growth and professional exploration, it also offers unique moments for self-reflection and building lasting connections. 

“[JAG] is a nice opportunity because most people complain about the fact that school doesn’t teach you about the real world, but JAG does do that, which I think is very important,” Coolidge Sophomore Ayden said. “I’m glad that I’m able to get myself ready for that stuff now for when I enter the workforce and college.”

Interested in learning more about the Team Event Competitions held at the CDC? Read the latest post HERE

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Author:
Kaylee Craig
Copywriter
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