December 2016 Newsletter

Noah Oathout

"You know, I took this class not really sure what it was. I thought maybe it would be a help, and I thought I'd at least give it a try.  Now I think this could be the most important class I've ever taken."

Noah Oathout, 
Mt. View High School, Junior
THE JMG EFFECT: Not Your Ordinary Class
By: Makayla E. Gargan, JMG Alumnus, Lewiston High School
At some point, almost every high school kid says, "This class is pointless. I will never need to know this information after I graduate." I am guilty of saying this about the majority of my classes I attended last year at Lewiston High School, but never about JMG. In JMG you learn real life skills; things all high school graduates need to succeed in today's complicated world. I can confidently say taking JMG was the best thing I ever did in high school; and, without hesitation it has shaped me into the person I am today. Someone who is ready to take on any challenge.
Makayla Gargan
I have worked since I turned 16, but one day realized I was dissatisfied with a job I had and decided it was time to move on. As part of our JMG program, we learned resume writing; something I had never been taught. We learned interview skills and appropriate business attire. In addition, we practiced mock interviews in eleventh grade and graduated to "real" interviews at P&G conducted by profession als. After this experience, I felt confident in my abilities. I got a call for an interview at BJ's Wholesale Club. I talked to Mrs. Bourne, and she encouraged me to relax and to believe in myself. Great advice. I was hired on the spot. No o ne has ever had that kind of belief in me, not even myself, until then.

There are so many more reasons I love JMG. This class opened doors for me, and it planted the seed of curiosity. I have participated in mentoring programs, community service and leadership conferences.  Without the
Makayla Gargan, Lewiston High School Alum
Makayla, senior year, manning the JMG information table 
knowledge and guidance from JMG and my Specialist, I would be afraid for my future, but I am not. JMG has changed my life. I will always be grateful for the opportunities, the experiences and the Specialist's true desire to watch me grow and become the best that I can be. Although I have graduated and have moved on to working for TD Bank, I still plan to stay involved with the program because I believe in JMG and that kids of all race, religion, and gender need JMG to believe in them.

Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) has been honoring public and private business partners across the country with awards for 15 years. This year, for the first time, JAG chose to recognize a unique team of partners. Last month, in Washington D.C., JAG leaders honored both L.L.Bean and the John T. Gorman Foundation with the National Education Leadership Award. The award recognizes outstanding private and corporate partners whose investments are having a profound impact on young people across the country.

Craig Larrabee, President & CEO of JMG, was at the award ceremony and said, "JMG finds itself in an extremely fortunate situation. Both L.L.Bean and the John T. Gorman Foundation have invested generously in our students and in our organization for years. They have helped us maintain our core high school and middle school programs, while championing the work we do with college students and youth in foster care."
Left to right: The Hon. John Bel Edwards, Governor of Louisiana; Tony Cipollone, President of the John T. Gorman Foundation; Craig Larrabee, President/CEO of JMG; and Shawn Gorman, Chairman of the Board at L.L.Bean.
L.L.Bean has been one of JMG's most trusted and long-term supporters. In addition to financial support, two members of L.L.Bean's leadership team sit on JMG's Board of Directors: Donna Lamberth, Director of Manufacturing and Returns; and Mike Mahoney, Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs. L.L.Bean's Manager of Community Relations, Janet Wyper, has also provided volunteers for our classrooms and student events; coordinated job shadows; and, donated backpacks and water bottles for student activities.  

Shawn Gorman, Chairman of the Board at L.L.Bean, says, "As Chairman of the Board of my uncle's legacy, the John T. Gorman Foundation, and the Executive Chairman of the Board of our family's company, L.L.Bean, I have a unique perspective regarding the needs of both business and our community. Young people need guidance to understand that they have good post-secondary choices and employers need a quality work force prepared to meet the demands of a competitive marketplace. The staff and volunteers of Jobs for America's Graduates provide this valuable direction to students."

Through its grantmaking, the John T. Gorman Foundation has supported several of JMG's programs and partnerships.  Most significantly, the John T. Gorman Foundation was the first private investor to support JMG's new College Success model.  Its grant of $250,000 served as the private match that helped to secure the state's first appropriation of public dollars to support JMG College Success Specialists on Maine's public university and community college campuses.

"The John T. Gorman Foundation is extremely proud of our association with L.L.Bean, and we're thrilled that Jobs for America's Graduates has chosen to honor us both, said Tony Cipollone, President & CEO of the Foundation. Jobs for Maine's Graduates has been an important partner for the us, and their efforts are helping significant numbers of vulnerable young people in Maine succeed in school and in life. The JMG approach is results-driven and it works-and that's why we are so proud to support it."
By Jason Little,  JMG Specialist at Hodgdon High School
Jason Little and family
Why were you in JMG and did it help you?
I chose to take JMG when I was a junior in high school. It was a new class that included valuable information based around employment, college, and career situations that would be very helpful in real life. I learned a lot about opportunities in the world, how to fill out college and job applications, developing a resume and cover letter, and communication skills. The skills that I remember the most from the class were the leadership opportunities we were given and how my classmates and I grew from quiet, uninvolved students into engaged, responsible young adults. 

Why did you decide to become a JMG Specialist?
 I decided to pursue the Specialist position because of my positive experiences and what I was fortunate to learn while in JMG. I have always been fortunate to work with teenagers and the Specialist position seemed like a great opportunity to be a positive influence for students.

Do you see yourself in your students?
 I do see myself in the situations faced by my students. One of the first tasks I gave to my classes this year was to guess what the empty chair in the middle of the room stood for. I wanted to let them know right off that I have been in their seat before, facing the challenges of high school, with college/career decisions looming in the future. I wanted to take away any perceptions there might be that I sailed through school and couldn't possibly understand what they're going through. 

Are you hoping to do for your students what JMG did for you?
Yes. I am hoping that I can help lead them in a positive direction with their goals (college, career, military) and for us to work together to increase our teamwork and leadership skills. Even years after graduating from JMG, I still can recall curriculum lessons, team-building initiatives, and skills we developed by stepping outside of our comfort zones. I want them to leave JMG with goals, plans and a lifetime of inspiration.   
We Do What We Do Because of You!
For Pratt & Whitney, corporate citizenship means inspiring youth and empowering them to make positive impacts on their communities. That is exactly what the folks at Pratt & Whitney are doing for the students at JMG. We are extremely grateful for the $5,000 grant the company has awarded us, to support JMG's Student Enrichment Program.  Through Student Enrichment, students learn to take risks and to succeed in environments free from the day-to-day social constraints of school. They learn to work in teams and gain new insights into the value of their contributions.  For JMG students, these experiences often become touchstones for personal growth, as well as motivators for learning within school.

One of the greatest joys of the holidays is getting the chance to say thank you to all of you for investing in Maine's students. From all of us at JMG, we want to wish you the happiest of holidays and a New Year filled with good health, happiness, and prosperity!