MICHIGAN CITY, IN – November 3, 2023 — New officers were recently installed to help lead the Jobs for America’s Graduates (J.A.G.) program at Michigan City High School, during a ceremony that also featured a donation made possible by students’ community service work last school year.

In a ceremony held at the school last week, 23 students were sworn in to office, including Mackenzie Rojas, who will serve as president during this school year.

The J.A.G. Program is offered to MCHS students through a partnership with WorkOne and the Center of Workforce Innovations. The program helps students prepare for the future by focusing on four goals – leadership development, career preparation, civic awareness, and social awareness.

Other officers who were sworn in this year are Adriana Young, Vice President of Leadership Development; Jada Gee, Vice President of Career Development; Davida Barney, Vice President of Social Awareness; JaRon Smith, Vice President of Civic Awareness; Aubrey Temple-Lebuis, Vice President of Service Learning; E’Laisha Kelly, Secretary; J’Ven Lewis, Treasurer; Russel Sabando, Reporter; Ja’Rya Smith, Social Media Manager; and Derrion Wilcoxon, Historian.

During the installation ceremony, J.A.G. members recited the Career Association Creed, which includes, among other tenets, a belief in the importance of establishing career goals, taking responsibility for productive work, and the development of one’s full potential.

The keynote speaker for the ceremony was Michigan City native Alisa Simmons, CEO of Arise and Shine Food and Outreach Center. She told the students to remember this creed in years to come because the values that it outlines will continue to guide them.

“Remember that you are all born leaders, and you are destined for greatness. You have to believe that your goals and dreams are going to be accomplished, and with the J.A.G. association creed, you have already spoken it.”

During the program, Rojas and J.A.G. Specialist Raymond Davis presented a $1,000 check to Simmons for the Arise and Shine Food and Outreach Center. The funds were provided through a grant from Jewel-Osco (Albertsons Nourishing Neighbors Foundation), which named the MCHS J.A. G. program one of 30 winners in its national Explore.Act.Tell competition. As winners, the students were able to designate the $1,000 grant for a hunger-focused non-profit organization of their choice.

Explore.Act.Tell is a project-based program that teaches students (grades 6-12) to understand and act on solutions to hunger insecurity in their community while developing leadership skills. The J.A.G. students’ winning program involved a screening and panel discussion of the documentary, The Working Hungry, along with other activities.

Rojas said she has high expectations this year as she works on planning new community service projects for the program. “J.A.G. isn’t the standard ‘do your work and get a grade’ type of class,” she said. “While that’s still important, it’s even more important to take an active role in the class and make an impact in the community.”

More information about Indiana’s J.A.G. program is available at https://www.indianacareerready.com/JAG, or by contacting MCHS J.A.G. Instructor Ray Davis at rdavis01@mcas.k12.in.us.