BY MELANIE BUCK –
The Mena JAG Program was recognized and has received awards from the National Jobs for America’s Graduates program or JAG, as it is commonly known.
Mena’s JAG program received the Peak Performance Award and the “5 of 5” High Performance Club Award for attaining and exceeding the required outcome standards including graduation rate, employment rate, positive outcome rate, full-time jobs rate and full-time placement rate.
Mena’s JAG Specialist, Karen Purvis, was also recognized as a 2015 Outstanding JAG Specialist for Outstanding Achievement in fully implementing the JAG model and achieving extraordinary outcomes for the JAG program participants.
“Arkansas JAG placed 2nd in the Nation, of 32 participating states, for the amount of scholarships our students received for college, Mena students – $1,230,768.00 and Arkansas JAG students had received over 8 million,” said Purvis. The awards were presented at the JAG National Training Seminar in July.
Described on their website, jag.org, as a state-based national non-profit organization dedicated to preventing dropouts among young people who are most at-risk, JAG has been in operation for more than three decades. The program has delivered consistent, compelling results and has helped nearly three-quarters of a million young people stay in school through graduation, pursue postsecondary education, and secure quality entry-level jobs leading to career advancement opportunities.
Listed on their website, the JAG Performance Outcomes for the Class of 2014 were a 93 percent graduation rate, 59 percent employment rate, 80 percent positive outcomes rate, 72 percent full-time jobs rate, 89 percent full-time placement rate, and a 43 percent postsecondary education enrollment rate.
In comparison, Mena’s JAG program had 80 students last year and they exceeded the national 2014 outcomes with a graduation rate of 100 percent; total civilian job placements and military service, 75.56 percent; total positive outcomes, 100 percent; total full time jobs, 76.47 percent; and total full time placement, 97.06 percent.
JAG performs community projects and this year will concentrate on mentoring at Mena Middle School and Holly Harshman campuses as well as participating in the Food Backpack Program at Mena High School. Mena JAG is also implementing the National/Arkansas Career Readiness Certification and the Career 101 curriculum for the 2015-2016 school year.