Two Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates (JAG) students, Jenna Flores and Frida Medrano Ibarra from the Tolleson Union High School District, were elected as National Officers for the Jobs for America’s Graduates National Career Association (NCA).
Jenna and Frida, along with fifteen of their Arizona JAG peers, traveled to Orlando to attend the second annual National Career Development Conference in April. More than 800 students from 24 states attended the conference and participated in workshops, competitive events, educational workshops, leadership development training, and college and career exploration. The conference included the election of the new NCA Officers with two voting delegates from each state.
On the national podium, Jenna and Frida gave inspiring testimonies to how JAG has helped them reach this pivotal point in their lives.
“Today really for the first, I took the time to look back at my little first grade self,” Frida, a senior at Copper Canyon High School, shared during her speech. “I wish that I could go back and tell her that all the hurt, obstacles, and disappointments will be worth it.”
Jenna, a senior at West Point High School, shared that she was not prepared for high school and eventually gave up. “I did not have a support system due to life circumstances and family situations. Luckily JAG was there to give a helping hand and took a chance on me.”
Both Frida and Jenna were given the opportunity to run for the national officer positions as part of their role in University of Phoenix LEADS, a state-wide leadership program for a select handful of JAG students. LEADS is available for JAG students who aspire to become change makers before graduation. LEADS members receive an advisor with which they identify opportunities for leadership development, community engagement, and having their voices heard nationally with other JAG programs across the country.
“I first heard of NCA Officers at the national student leadership academy in D.C., " said Jenna. “I watched our current NCA Officers perform and be the best they can be. I knew in my heart that this was the next step for me. I owed it to myself to push ahead.” Her newly elected position builds upon Jenna’s involvement in JAG on her school campus, where she currently serves as the Vice President and Secretary for her local Career Association chapter. Check out Jenna’s Faces of JAG story HERE.
Jenna will serve as the NCA Secretary for a one-year term. She will oversee the annual Business Session meeting minutes, ensure NCA Executive Council members are informed, and keep the National President informed of team member activities.
Frida was elected as the NCA President-Elect. She will preside at meetings when the National President is unavailable and will serve in any capacity as directed by the President. Although this is Frida’s first year in JAG, she has already assumed leadership roles in community service projects on her school campus and as a LEADS member.
“When I first joined, I didn’t know the impact JAG would have in my life,” Frida said. “My first year in JAG hasn’t even finished and the opportunities I have received are enormous.” Currently, she is the President of her local Career Association chapter and as the newly elected President-Elect for the national chapter, she will serve a second year as the NCA President. Read Frida’s Faces of JAG story HERE.
“I love JAG with all my heart like most of us here and without them I don’t think I would have made it this far,” Jenna shared. “I am truly proud to represent my state and fellow JAG members.”
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