JAG Alum Spotlight: Silvana

Silvana Mendoza shares how middle school JAG helped her plan her future.
May 11, 2023

Sheely Farms Elementary JAG Alum Silvana was first encouraged to join JAG by her coordinator, Janine Mernard. Like many students, Silvana has faced challenges in her education. Before joining JAG, she struggled with paying attention in class, particularly with wanting to talk and socialize with other classmates.

JAG was a good fit for Silvana. Working with her Coordinator, she not only managed to increase her grades, but grow as a person, taking on challenges that pushed her even further. She even received one of JAG’s scholarships for her accomplishments. An achievement she is most proud of. 

“Before joining JAG, I was really having a hard time getting some grades up,” Silvana reflects, “My coordinator kept pushing me forward and helping me. I had such a great bond with her.”

Silvana said her Coordinator believed in her. “She told me, ‘I believe in you. I know you can do all of this stuff.’ She gave me great opportunities in JAG. I was awarded a scholarship from JAG for being a leader and helping others around me.”

Throughout the course of JAG she has had some pretty unique experiences. JAG seeks to broaden the horizons of its participants, and many programs have various field trips and work closely with employer and education partners to support JAG participants to set their own goals and expand upon their own interests. 


High School Journey

The first year of high school can be a daunting task, but Silvana has tackled it head on and taken her first year in stride. Not only is she continuing to keep her grades up but she is also doing well in school overall. She’s taking AP Classes, participating in modern dance, and wants to push herself to college and beyond. Her ultimate goal? She wants to make a difference as a lawyer.

“I’m able to join JAG as a junior in my high school. So when I'm done with sophomore year, I am  planning to join JAG again, in order to really help me with my goals. I want to become a lawyer for either family services, immigration, anything that can just really help me and help my voice be heard for other people.”As a soon to be sophomore at Westview High School, Silvana is focusing on keeping her grades up, but she has every intention of joining JAG the moment she’s able to. Despite not being in JAG she does encourage current and future JAG students to come out of their shell.

“I say step out of the box. If you're uncomfortable speaking in front of people, I say go for it. Go for every little detail and opportunities they hand you because this can help you a lot with your future career.”

Silvana is unstoppable. Her maturity and intelligence shine. She, like many JAG participants, is constantly working to better herself and gain new skills. Despite the challenges ahead of navigating high school, she faces it with courage and confidence and will no doubt be successful in all of her future plans.

Help JAG make a difference for students like Silvana! Donations go a long way to helping fund field trips, events, and scholarships that allow us to fully support our students. Donate here.

Isa Hesley
Digital Marketing Specialist
AZ Tax Credit Funds
(602) 216-9503 I info@jagaz.org
3320 W. Cheryl Dr., Suite B220 Phoenix, AZ 85051
Copyright 2020 -  Jobs for Arizona Graduates
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