Jobs for America’s Graduates Program Implemented at Hartford Public High School AT&T Supports Hartford’s At-Risk Youth with $30,000 Grant (2)
March 21st, 2016 – Hartford Public High School has become the seventh high school in Connecticut to offer the Jobs for America’s Graduates leadership development program for high school seniors with a $30,000 grant from AT&T.
Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) and AT&T’s national ASPIRE program are working together to help improve high school graduation rates in the City of Hartford and throughout Connecticut by expanding proven academic and leadership supports for underserved students.
Left to right, HPHS Academy of Nursing and Health Sciences Vice Principal Marco Tirillo, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, Metro Hartford Alliance Specialist Keylon Levine, Executive Director of the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education Dr. Martin Estey, HPHS students Ashlee Early, Chanel Richardson, and Jennifer Candelaria, AT&T CT President John Emra, Superintedent Beth Schiavino-Narvaez and, Director JAG CT Liz Dupont-Diehl celebrate the generous grant from AT&T to benefit Hartford Public High School students.
“Hartford Public Schools thanks AT&T for making this important contribution. We hope that this new program will improve our rising rates of success for at-risk youth,” said Superintendent Beth Schiavino-Narvaez about the program, which started in January at HPHS, during Monday's press conference at Hartford Public Schools' Central Office. “Partnerships like these are key to establish strong connections between our schools and their surrounding business community.”
The JAG program involves teaching professional skills competencies as an elective credit course, combined with mentoring, career guidance, a student-led Career Association, and a full 12 months of support after graduation.
“We are encouraged by the recent news that for the first time we are on a path to reach a 90 percent national graduation rate by 2020, but we also know there is more work to be done,” said John Emra, President of AT&T Connecticut. “Bringing to scale programs like JAG that are making a measurable impact on the students that need it most is one of the key ways we can stay on track to meet our graduation goal and prepare more students for the jobs of tomorrow.”
In 2014, JAG’s network of affiliates reported a 93 percent high school graduation rate, compared to the national graduation rate of 81 percent. Currently, the JAG model is offered in nearly 1,000 public high schools, community colleges, and alternative learning centers in 32 states.
“Your support for this program will go a long way to making sure we can be there for students who need it the most,” said Mayor Luke Bronin. “This is exactly the kind of partnership we need to make sure we are preparing students for a successful career and future.”
The AT&T $30,000 grant was awarded to the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education, which is the parent organization of JAG CT.
In more than three decades of operation, JAG has helped over one million young people stay in school through graduation, pursue postsecondary education and secure quality entry-level jobs leading to career advancement opportunities.
“I am grateful that I have been part of the JAG program,” said Jennifer Candelora, who is enrolled in JAG at Hartford Public High School, and was part of JAG at East Hartford High School before transferring to HPHS. “Since I joined I have been prepared to leave high school with great background knowledge on how to pursue my future career goals. JAG is a sense of hope for people who have no hope. I would recommend this program to all high school seniors.”
Since 2008, AT&T and the AT&T Foundation have provided more than $6 million in funding to JAG and its local affiliates. This support is part of AT&T Aspire, AT&T’s $350 million signature education initiative that drives innovation in education to promote student success in school and beyond.
JAG CT Director
JAG CT Director