Since its inception, Jobs for America’s Graduates in New Mexico (JAG-NM) has helped thousands of New Mexico’s students at high-risk for dropping out of high school set and reach their academic and career goals.
In 2015-16, JAG-NM served a total of 214 program participants in five public school districts – Bernalillo, Rio Rancho (Independence High), Mora, Zuni (Zuni High School and Twin Buttes High), and Albuquerque Public Schools (Rio Grande High School). Of those participants, 95 percent of seniors in the multi-year program graduated. On their way to earning a diploma, these students overcame an average of 7.32 obstacles that Jobs for America’s Graduates National Program has identified in the areas of academics, environment, personal, and career ready.
An on-site advisory committee invites students to participate in JAG-NM based on a number of identified barriers to their success. Each site-has a JAG Specialist who is employed by the local school district. The specialist assures that the 35–45 students at each school site attains the competencies needed to graduate.
This high level of achievement was on display at the annual Jobs for America’s Graduates National Training Seminar held in Washington, D.C. in July 2016. Students and teachers from 31 states and the Virgin Islands gathered for a wide array of practical workshops and seminars. Awards were given to schools that showed extraordinary achievement. All five New Mexico JAG programs were honored with various awards of excellence for maintaining the goals set forth by the national JAG office, and for helping some of New Mexico’s most vulnerable students achieve their high school diploma and go on to careers or postsecondary education.