JAG's Transformative Impact: Empowering Students for Success

January 2024
January 24, 2024

Happy New Year! I'm Marjorie DeRubeis, President and CEO of JAG, and I'm thrilled to share exciting updates with you. Since stepping into this role seven months ago, I've embraced the opportunity to lead JAG with a deep sense of commitment and enthusiasm. The warm welcome I've received from the JAG community, stakeholders, and partners has been both heartwarming and inspiring. It has reinforced my belief in the shared dedication to empowering students and transforming lives. 

The past seven months have allowed me to immerse myself in the intricacies of JAG's mission and witness firsthand the incredible impact the organization has on the lives of students. I've had the privilege of engaging with passionate individuals who are dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of Arizona's students. The collective commitment to education, career development, and community involvement has fueled my own dedication to ensuring that JAG continues to be a beacon of support for students seeking guidance and opportunities. 

One of the most enriching aspects of my role has been the opportunity to personally connect with the amazing JAG students! Meeting these young individuals and hearing their incredible, transformative stories has become a source of inspiration for me. Each encounter allows me to witness firsthand the resilience, determination, and untapped potential within these students, reinforcing the profound impact that JAG has on their lives. 

I am genuinely thankful for the support, encouragement, and openness that has marked my initial months as President and CEO. It's this collective spirit that propels us forward, and I am excited about the journey ahead as we strive to enhance the impact of JAG and create lasting positive change for Arizona's youth. 

As we kick off the new year, I'm pleased to announce the upcoming enhancements to our website and a refreshed logo, aligning with our affiliation to Jobs for America's Graduates, a national organization serving 78,000 students across the U.S. Stay tuned as we roll those out in the coming months. 

Reflecting on my journey as a first-generation Haitian American, I understand the challenges students face in navigating education without guidance. JAG has been a transformative force, providing answers to the questions I had at 18. Today, Arizona's high school graduation rate is 77%, underscoring an educational crisis that demands attention. 

To achieve our Achieve 60 goals, ensuring 60% of the state's working adults have a certificate, license, or degree, we must first focus on high school graduation. JAG excels at this by offering a curriculum integrated into the school year, eliminating barriers like transportation and scheduling conflicts. Partner schools select students who truly need our help, leading to improved attendance, attitudes, and grades. 

The impact is significant — 99% of JAG students graduate high school on time. As we strive to attract new business and industry to Arizona, our commitment to providing a prepared and qualified workforce is crucial. 

Not only do 99% of our students find success after high school, but 65% also enroll in postsecondary education, surpassing the state average of 46%. We continue to support our graduates for a year post-high school to ensure they stay on the path to success. 

Embracing my role as President and CEO, I am dedicated to ensuring Arizona's students are poised for success in their careers and post-secondary education. For over 40 years, JAG has been building the future workforce of Arizona. 

As we embark on this new year, let's work together to bring JAG into more schools, turning Arizona's educational story around. Together, we can make a lasting impact on our students and the future of our state. 

Best regards,  

Marjorie DeRubeis
President and CEO, JAG 

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