Whether you need help graduating high school, finding work experience, or securing a meaningful job as a student, you’re in the right place. Jobs for America’s Graduates – commonly referred to as JAG– is a program offered to high school students in the state of Nevada providing assistance toward graduation and career exploration.

The JAG Program includes employment skill classes in which students can take to receive elective credits. Such classes would include career path formation, setting job goals, resumes, letters of application, phone etiquette, job applications, verbal/written communications, math, teamwork, leadership, and workplace values and ethics.

Each class is instructed by a JAG Specialist who is not just a teacher, but also a mentor to students who enroll in that particular skill class. JAG specialists help students obtain stellar grades, pass proficiency tests, and complete credits in order to graduate.

JAG has helped shape many students into successful leaders of today. One amazing story would be that of Martiza Paez.

Maritza graduated class of 2018. In September of her freshman year at Valley High, her parents divorced. The divorce took a big toll on her, however, she overcame it by actively involving herself in school. She focused on performing in the cheer squad whilst being involved in the Army JROTC program; her sophomore year she was given the role of being the platoon leader, training the school’s incoming freshmen. During that time, she was living with her mother who was situated in Henderson, Nevada. Maritza realized the transportation back and forth to Valley High School became a burden as it was so far away, therefore prompting Maritza to transfer to Basic Academy. When she transferred her mid-sophomore year, she didn’t participate in any school activities; rather she got a summer job as a lifeguard. When she was a junior at Basic Academy, she joined the JAG program and she was elected as the junior class President. The summer of 2017, she was chosen by hundreds of applicants, and became part of the sixty cohort of students to attend a program offered at UNLV. She passed all of her classes with stellar grades while working two jobs at the City of Henderson and Flip ‘N’ Out Xtreme.

Martiza says, “After graduation I stayed in contact with my JAG supervisors and made connections with new ones as well; such as Mrs. Ann Wozniak who chose a few JAG alumni and myself to be featured in a JAG video. I am currently attending the College of Southern Nevada in Henderson. I am responsible for all my schooling expenses as I do not receive any scholarships nor financial aid. I am the first person in my family to attend college and I have just finished 18 credits this semester. I intend to graduate with my four year degree in three years by taking summer classes.”

Recently, I was chosen again by Mrs. Ann Wozniak to be interviewed and promote awareness on a clothing drive JAG was having. I did this alongside the Director of JAG Nevada Dr. Rene Cantu, who has helped me personally with applying to scholarships and teaching me networking skills.Thanks to JAG Nevada I now know I have a great support system outside of my home.

Martiza is an amazing example of how JAG helps students graduate and obtain meaningful jobs for their future. If you’re interested in joining JAG Nevada, visit their website to contact them!

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to assist you!

Story by Kyle Catarata – OWINN Special Projects Coordinator