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The Student News Site of Bellevue East High School

The Tom Tom

The Student News Site of Bellevue East High School

The Tom Tom

The Student News Site of Bellevue East High School

The Tom Tom

Bellevue East students benefit from JAG program

Brianne Healy
Giving back. Presenting their toys for the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree project are (left to right) junior Bryce Robalik, junior Maraiah Ramos, junior Enyce Jenkins, junior Isaac Elmamoun, and senior Joseph O’Shea.The AngelTree campaign was started by East’s Leadership Academy, and JAG students wanted to help. Students take a tag from a small tree in each classroom to purchase a gift for children in need.“We used this as our opportunity for a community service project,” JAG representative Brianne Healy said.

The Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) program has been constantly evolving and growing in the past years of its existence. Although it’s relatively new to Nebraska, it’s important that students learn about it so the right people can take advantage of this opportunity.

“JAG’s mission is to empower Nebraska’s young people with the skills and support to succeed in education, employment and life,” Bellevue East JAG specialist Brianne Healy said.

JAG is a 40-year-old program new to Nebraska that helps students graduate. The program teaches students different skills to prepare them for the workforce, along with teaching the members how to be successful in a career path they like.

“The JAG program originally started out in three schools in Nebraska in 2019 and has continued to expand since. For example, Bellevue middle schools just added this program this year,” Healy said. “JAG is expected to expand into 72 programs by 2024.”

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Although the program is relatively new, for most students that take part in JAG already, the different activities that the class uses help prepare them for the future. One student who enjoys being in JAG and participating in activities is senior Juniana Heredia.

“JAG is actually really good.” Heredia said. “It’s fun with all the group activities we do like our scavenger hunts and small compositions and bingo games and we learn about the different qualities of a leader.”

JAG is not a class just anyone can join. It’s based on recommendation and qualifications to get into the program. The steps to get into JAG according to Healy are:

1) To be identified as a potential candidate.

2) An interview with the JAG Career Specialist at your school.

3) They will evaluate your level of commitment to the program and your parents or guardians commitment as well.

4) Students must want or need this program.

“JAG is a worthwhile class, I’ve actually learned stuff for life there.” Junior Eric Burnell said. “It’s not the kind of class to goof off in or skip, but it’s pretty good and easy if you make it to the class.”

Awareness is a big issue in the small group of JAG. Not enough people know that JAG is even an option for them but, in fact it’s a big opportunity for the students who do qualify for this unique program available at Bellevue East.

“I would love to see more students and staff to know what JAG is all about.” Healy said. “I want students to take interest and be a part of this program.”

The main purpose of the JAG program is to get its students ready to be successful in careers as leaders or managers, or just how to manage work to best use their available time.

“JAG helps students explore career options, identify interests and develop skills that prepare them for postsecondary education and/or entry-level careers,” Healy said.

The JAG program has its goals to help students but Bellevue East’s JAG representative has much more personalized goals for its members. Healy, like plenty of other staff members of East, says she is there to support her students and is always dedicated to helping her students succeed.

“I’m hoping to see fewer hiring signs because my students filled those positions.” Healy said. “I want to see them thrive in life after high school and know that not only this class helped make an impact but that I did personally as well.”

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Caden Munderloh, Web Editor
I'm Caden, I am the web editor and one of the most controversial people you'll ever meet. I can't spell if my life depended on it. Open to making friends with anyone and everyone.

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