Students Prepare for Academic, Career and Lifelong Success with JAG Arizona

Coronado High School JAG Program Initiates Fall Class
November 16, 2021

Coronado High School of Phoenix, Arizona inducted 33 students into the 2021, 2022 JAG class Wednesday, October 27 during the “Initiation and Installation” ceremony. The JAG, or Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates, program helps youth remain in school and promotes development of academic, personal, leadership and vocational skills necessary to be successful post graduation. This night represents a milestone in Coronado JAG students' lives as they en mass swear an oath toward bettering their lives through project based, student-driven learning activities that will take place throughout the school year.

Captivating speeches from keynote speakers including Wendy Paez Gonzales, Coronado High School JAG Coordinator and from JAG student President Xaiver Preciado and Vice President Ariana Portillo, as well as both the principal and vice principal of Coronado High School created an atmosphere of joy and thunderous audience exuberance. The Initiation and Installation JAG Pin Ceremony continued following a live musical performance by student Angela Mancilla. Officers were installed before the “Blending of the Gems” ceremony sent students from the left and right sides of the stage toward the central podium in teams of two or three where they delighted the audience by showcasing personalized handshakes incorporating energetic hand slaps, dance moves and toe taps between one another before their red “gems” were finally released into one clear, glass vase.

“I’m super excited right now because I just had the Initiation and Installation ceremony. My students did amazing, they worked so hard to put this together and they did so well on their speeches, and we have so many families and that’s literally the most important thing about tonight is having our families understand what the program is and what it can do for their students,” said Mrs. Wendy Paez Gonzales, JAG Coordinator of Coronado High School.

Elected class officers, representing each of the five Coronado JAG committees, then shared their specific goals for class leadership development, career exploration, service learning, social awareness and fundraising missions for the upcoming academic year.

The JAG leadership development student team’s mission is to provide and encourage leadership roles within JAG and across the Coronado campus, to win first place at the career development conference, to provide leadership training for underclassmen, provide trainings to all JAG members to ensure they are ready for public speaking, and for each student to know how to dress for success and also be able to practice proper table etiquette. They will provide resume skills workshops on campus this year. Their major goal is for each Coronado JAG student to set a good example with whomever they meet.

The college and career exploration committee’s mission is to match student’s interests, skills, values and needs with fulfilling and meaningful careers. They plan to accomplish this mission by visiting collegiate campuses including Arizona State University, University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University and Grand Canyon University. This committee will also be in charge of inviting workforce professionals to visit and share industry insights. Their goal is for all JAG students to take college placement exams including the SAT and the Accuplacer while ensuring any eligible students complete their FAFSA. The JAG students have also charged themselves to work with senior mentors from Republic Services where they will participate in job shadows and receive career advice. They also plan to work with the Scottsdale Firefighter’s Association for guidance on life and careers. The committee's goal is to achieve a 100% class graduation rate.

The career association service learning committee's mission for the next year is to learn more about social issues by discovering new community centric philanthropic opportunities where JAG participants will take it upon themselves to accumulate no fewer than 20 hours of service this year. Coronado JAG students plan to accomplish their mission by leading the annual “Thanksgiving Food Drive,” “Holiday Toy Drive” and the “MLK Voice Event.” They also plan to educate students about the importance of voting while assisting their neighbors register to vote.

JAG Coronado's social awareness committee’s mission is to plan all events thereby creating a supportive and fun environment for all students where they may safely practice social skills, break out of their shells and establish themselves as a support system for others. Coronado JAG students' target is to increase participation in all events by ensuring proper planning, coordination and scheduling of as many socials as possible. The students anticipate meet-ups for ice skating, zoo visits, and movie or karaoke nights this year! The social awareness committee also plans to celebrate important milestones including birthdays, special achievements, getting a new job, earning a scholarship, or getting into college.

The fundraising committee’s mission is to create and plan events for all JAG activities. Their plan of action is to earn more donations this year than ever before by reaching out to new community partners by creating appealing fundraiser events. Coronado JAG plans to carry out this mission by hosting student car washes, percentage nights and other innovative activities. Their aim is to earn essential expenditures especially those necessary to pay for their end of the year trip to the Career Development Conference.

“Tonight was awesome, exclaimed Antonio Silva, Chair of The Fundraising Committee. Being up there (on stage) was an amazing experience. I got to talk in front of all the people I love! I got to speak in front of my family, the JAG family. I just had a great night! I loved the practice, I loved the decorations: we actually all set this up together and we were all doing amazing things, laughing, just being teenagers. We went out there and put a lot of work into it and I had a great time with my friends and my family.”

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Author:
John Paul Leslie
News Desk Editor, VISTA
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