During the January Board of Education Meeting, the Wayne County ATC Jobs for America’s Graduates (known as JAG) program was highlighted. There are 55 in-person and a few virtual students that make up the four classes that meet each school day. Veteran teacher Brenda Hoover took over the classes this year in the third year of the national non-profit based organization’s course cycle, offered locally. Noel Vaughn taught the classes for the first and second year, until he retired.
Freshmen through seniors are eligible to take the course. They have tackled everything from practical skills like learning to sew to volunteering at the House of Blessings to learning about job opportunity information. Most recently the students packed small survival kits to honor the board members for board recognition month. The bags included: a battery to keep supplying board members with energy, rubber bands to stretch the budget, sticky notes to help remember all the details, and aspirin for any headaches caused by the job.
The curriculum covers: career development, job attainment, job survival, ways to communicate, leadership and self-development, personal skills, life survival and workplace skills. They have enjoyed numerous guest speakers during the first semester. They do a lot of team building activities and community service projects.
Ms. Hoover is a perfect fit for the course always putting students first. “I love this job. I can work more on a one on one basis with small class sizes and can accomplish more for each student.”
She pulls students out in the afternoon who are struggling with an assignment in their other courses in order to tutor them and keep them up to speed on academics. She has also helped students working with scheduling in order to better help their families with financial needs.
“It’s a great atmosphere. We are like a family,” said Hoover, who has enthusiastically embraced this program. The students help each other as they transition from high school to the real world. They can enroll in the program each year of high school as they grow and mature. She keeps in touch with the students after graduation on a monthly basis in case they need assistance.
She is particularly proud of 2021 graduate Dawson Ambrosio, whom she worked online with last year. He is now employed by R.J. Corman. And during Noel Vaughn’s tenure, JAG graduate Simon Baker received the Kenneth M. Smith National JAG Scholarship (only six in the state of KY that received it and only 40 across the country). He also received the Lawrence P. Caruso JAG Scholarship of KY last year. There are multiple success stories developing from JAG.
They are hoping to take some field trips this semester, to learn more about the needs of local businesses first hand, once the pandemic subsides.
TTAI representatives shared info about their wages, benefits, and how they take care of their employees
TTAI employees Jessica McClure Coffey, Brad Hall and Jeremy Landrum shared helpful employment tips
Packing up tornado relief supplies JAG students collected
National Guard visits the class
Guardsman and SRO help students get a closer look at equipment from the local Armory.
Officer shares special canine training information with students
SRO Travis Bell and a special visitor spoke about the importance of being drug-free
Extension Agent Toni Humble shares work skills lessons
JAG students helped serve 562 meals at House of Blessings on Jan. 13 and have plans to help rest of the month.
H.G. Hickey spoke to students about entrepreneurships
ATC supporter Jamie Jones talked to students about the banking business