Jobs for Maine's Graduates
July, 2016 Newsletter  
Photo: Brie Pinkham, Morse HS
 “JMG is like a second family. We learn from each other and help each other when we are down. We learn skills we need in the world, and are prepared to be leaders and in charge of our own future. We are able to find our strengths and weaknesses, but are also taught to understand that we still have time to grow.”  

Brie Pinkham, Morse High School


  JMG has an end-of-year tradition: a company-wide retreat to celebrate the past school year and to talk about what lies ahead. This year’s event, held on June 24, was one for the record books. Along with the usual cast of characters - including JMG’s teaching Specialists, managers, support staff, and board members -  this year’s gathering included many of JMG’s most valued partners. Maine’s Governor, commissioners, corporate funders, and foundations gathered together in the same conference room at Thomas College to celebrate the new JMG Summer Academy - and its first graduating class. 
 JMG students, Governor LePage, Thomas College President Laurie Lachance;
Education Commissioner Bill Beardsley; Labor Commissioner Jeanne Paquette; Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew; Greg Powell of Harold Alfond Foundation; Tony Cipollone of John T. Gorman Foundation; Vicki Gordon and Cary Olson-Cartwright of Unum, Larry Sterrs of Unity Foundation; Wendy Ault of MELMAC Education Foundation; Maj. Gen. Bill Libby; Walter Corey of Maine Leadership Institute, and
 JMG staff & board members
The JMG Summer Academy is a week-long college intensive designed by JMG, and hosted on the Thomas College campus, with the goal of giving our high school students a chance to experience college firsthand and to be better prepared to earn a degree. Storm Hebert is a rising senior from Dexter Regional High School. He and 25 other JMG students finished the program and were recognized during the celebration for their hard work. Storm said, “The week was really tough, but I’m glad I did it. My friends and I slept in the dorms and ate in the cafeteria.  During the day we took the Business Management Principles course and earned three credits that we can take with us to other colleges.  In the evening, we had structured study time and worked with tutors.  It wasn’t easy, but I know I can do it now.”

The JMG Summer Academy is part of our comprehensive College Success Program. The program works with college-bound JMG high school students, foster care youth and others, to get them ready for college, and once they are on campus, ensures they stay in school and earn a degree. Right now, there are about 2,500 high school students and 250 college students across Maine being served by JMG’s College Success Program.
After recognizing the new Summer Academy graduates, JMG’s President and CEO, Craig Larrabee told the crowd, “We recognize we are creating a new approach. There is no other organization or program in Maine, or in the country, providing this kind of continuum of support, from freshman year in high school to college graduation and into the workforce.“

Craig thanked the public and private partners who are funding the program, including Governor LePage and the Maine Legislature, the Harold Alfond Foundation, the Unity Foundation, the Boston Foundation, the MELMAC Education Foundation, the Lloyd G. Balfour Foundation, Bank of America N.A., Trustee, and the John T. Gorman Foundation. As the celebration wrapped up, Tony Cipollone, President & CEO of the John T. Gorman Foundation, remarked to the crowd, “It's nice to be honored for what we are doing to help JMG, but it really is us, the partners, who should be honoring JMG for the work they are doing."

THE JMG EFFECT: A Letter to a Specialist
  Every spring JMG hosts its signature event, the Career Development Conference (CDC). Five hundred juniors and seniors converge on the Thomas College campus to celebrate all that they have learned and to take part in career-readiness competitions. Just hours after CDC ended this year, a student from Waterville Senior High School sent the following message to her Specialist, Joe Haney.
Dear Mr. Haney,

So, I just wanted to write to you again, and really thank you for everything. I am speechless over the person you helped me become. If it wasn’t for my experience in Waterville’s JMG, and your wise, straightforward advice, I know I wouldn’t be where I am today. You helped me find myself and be me. I don’t really know if it’s your bluntness or even the small talks you’ve had with me when I was down, but it helped me engage more with my peers, to communicate, to listen, to be someone I didn’t think I could be.

The trophies I earned for our program, I would like to dedicate to you. Thank you for not just giving up on me when everyone else did. I hope one day I can make an impact on someone as much as you have made on me. Thank you. A million thank yous.

                Sincerely, Keristin
Keristin with trophies she won at this year's
Career Development Conference
During the statewide celebration, Kim Lipp, JMG’s Executive Vice President, and Governor LePage had the pleasure of presenting Unum with the first-ever JMG Compass Award. The award recognizes Unum as a leader in corporate social responsibility.

In presenting the award, Kim said, Unum has become JMG’s most trusted corporate partner. Time and again, the leadership and employees have come through for our students and for JMG. Cary Olson-Cartwright has served on our board for 11 years, and as board chair. Unum has also helped to guide the development of new JMG models by ensuring the voices of business leaders and employers have a seat at the table when we are talking about education."

 Kim Lipp, Vicki Gordon, Unum Senior Vice President; Governor LePage; 
Cary Olson-Cartwright, Unum AVP Corporate Social Responsibility
"Unum has invested more than $1 million in JMG. Those dollars have benefited tens of thousands of students in the past 12 years. Equally impressive are the selfless and extensive volunteer efforts of Unum’s employees, guided by the company’s overall belief that the more opportunities students have to reach their fullest potential, the better chance they have to become responsible and productive citizens.”

Congratulations to the 500-plus JMG students who worked hard, stayed the course, and earned their diplomas this year! And thank you to all of the JMG Specialists, school staff and administrators, community and business partners who helped make it happen!

I f you love golf, or just enjoy being outdoors in Maine, join us September 16 at Val Halla Golf Course in Cumberland for the 5th Annual Sea Dog JMG Golf Tournament to benefit Maine students. 

A big THANK YOU to Fred Forsley, co-founder and president of Shipyard Brewing Company, for partnering with JMG!
  To register or for more information: