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JAG program beautification project
JAG program beautification project

Pictured: Last year, Danville High School's JAG program completed a campus beautification project. They cleaned up parts of campus and put down mulch in flower beds. 

Danville High School’s Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) program was recently recognized as one of Kentucky’s 22 “5 of 5” state affiliates for outstanding results from the class of 2021. For a year after graduation, JAG Kentucky specialists follow participants’ transition into college, the military or the workforce. 

DHS’s very own JAG program met or exceeded national standards for the class of 2021. 

Clay Clevenger, JAG Specialist at DHS, said a fundamental part of the JAG program is to prepare students for success after graduation.

“We do a lot of teaching kids how to get job skills, resume building, personal finance — we do a lot of different things like that that are soft skills for the job market, and also help them get placed in jobs if we can and follow up with them a year after graduation to see their employment or whether they’re in college and whatnot,” he said. 

Another part of the program is an emphasis on community service. For example, last year students who participated in the JAG program ran a supply drive for Mayfield, Kentucky, after the tornadoes that caused devastating damage in Western Kentucky in December 2021. They filled up a trailer with donations for individuals who were impacted. 

They also did a campus beautification project at DHS, cleaning up areas on campus and putting down mulch in flower beds. 

Another thing they did to learn about soft skills and success after graduation was a couple of book studies, one on “The Energy Bus” by Jon Gordon about the importance of positive energy in the workplace, and one on “Talent is Never Enough” by John Maxwell about how soft skills are the key to success. 

“Teaching soft skills is an important trait because I think what you’re seeing in our workforce is most jobs you take, they’re going to train you for what they want you to do, but being on time, working hard, doing those types of things that it takes to be successful is really what the employers are looking for,” Clevenger said. “Teaching those skills is vital in my opinion.”

It’s great to watch students grow through the program, he said. For example, one graduating senior texted him this summer and asked him how he started a Roth IRA. Teaching students about personal finance and how to invest in themselves piqued the student’s interest enough that he reached out to ask more about it, Clevenger said. 

“Seeing kids get jobs or hold jobs is always a good thing as well,” he said.
 

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