March 2021 Newsletter 
"JMG has totally shaped me into the confident leader I am today. It helped me learn about my strengths and weaknesses in academics, social life, and even in the workforce. Thanks to JMG, I know I always have a group to help guide me through life. Without JMG, I never would have discovered my passion for helping others or have the confidence to pursue my education and goal of someday becoming a nurse.”

Jocelyn Manza, Senior
Calais Middle/High School
Discovering Your True Path: The JMG Effect
“Life is what happens to us when we are busy making other plans.” – Henry Cooke

Cassie Smith had been in JMG for a few years and was about to embark on a new adventure – an adventure no one else in her family had ever pursued. She was heading to college to earn a degree in pre-nursing. “Cassie has so much going for her,” said Jess Rodrigue, JMG College Success Specialist at Kennebec Valley Community College. “But, like most college students, she faced some pretty significant hurdles.”

Cassie lived two hours from KVCC – a daunting commute for any student, let alone someone who was also working full-time. It was a tough decision, but Cassie decided to leave school.
Cassie Smith, Phlebotomist,
Franklin Memorial Hospital
When she left campus, she was contacted by a JMG Pathway Navigator, Kevin Michaud. The job of a Pathway Navigator is to work with students who leave college to make sure they stay on a path to earn post-secondary credentials. “When I left school I felt defeated at first,” Cassie said. “Things hadn’t worked out the way I planned. But there was no way I was giving up on my dream of being in the medical field.”

Cassie said Kevin continued to reach out. She was surprised at his persistence, and they finally connected. Together, they created a new plan, which included enrolling in a 10-week phlebotomy certification course. COVID-19 threatened to derail those plans, but Cassie was determined. “Without JMG, there’s no way I would be where I am today. Kevin helped me sign up for classes and made sure I was in touch with the program staff. We had bi-weekly check-ins where we talked about my progress toward my goals and any challenges I was facing.”

When Cassie completed the course and received her certification, Kevin presented her with a check, called a JMG Milestone Award, for her hard work and determination. “If Kevin hadn’t been so persistent, I wouldn’t have gone back to school and wouldn’t be where I am now – a Certified Phlebotomist working at Franklin Memorial Hospital. I absolutely love the work. It feels so good to be doing something I love and to feel proud of myself again.”
Why We Invest in JMG: P&G
By John Bateman, Plant Manager
Tambrands, Inc., A Procter & Gamble Co.

Tambrands’ relationship with JMG started more than 15 years ago. We invited some JMG Specialists to take a tour of our Auburn facility to learn about the career opportunities available for Maine students after graduation. Before long, we realized the strong synergy between our two organizations and the impact we could have on Maine’s youth and the state. Our employees started volunteering in JMG classrooms and at statewide events. Our philanthropic arm began providing critical funding to support JMG programs in the greater Lewiston-Auburn area.
Procter & Gamble Scholarship Winner, Career Development Conference (2019)
Tambrands has a long history of giving back to our community through funding, volunteering and product support. By partnering with JMG, Tambrands and its employees are confident we’re making a smart and effective investment in Maine’s future.  
At P&G, we serve nearly five billion people around the world with our brands. We have operations in nearly 70 countries and have one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality and leadership brands. As we serve the world’s consumers, we believe in, and have publicly committed to, doing what’s right and being a good corporate citizen. As a company and as an army of volunteers, P&G provides critical funding and its employees provide thousands of hours of community service support to communities around the globe.
Through the Eyes of a JMG Specialist
By Karen McGrady
JMG College Success Specialist EMCC
I consulted my Magic 8 Ball this morning, asking whether we will be able to be back on campus with students for orientations this summer. “Very doubtful” and “Outcome uncertain” were the responses. Sigh. For most of us, this year has meant working from kitchen tables, relying on technology to connect us. It’s definitely not business as usual. Our college partners have risen to the challenge, trying in so many ways to keep learning and student success at the forefront of difficult decision-making.
Students, faculty and staff are out of their comfort zones. The lack of structure and routine has truly unraveled the lives of many, and honestly we are all tired of hearing “We’re in this together!” even though we are, and even though we are so lucky to have jobs that are truly changing lives.

For JMG, that means helping students make difficult decisions - whether that means deferring college all together, stopping out because online school just is not working, or working to help support their families. I work with students who are choosing part-time or full-time classes, learning how to cope with being stuck in their rooms in front of a screen all day, or coping with being at “home” when college is the place that had become home. Because we know our students, and because they trust JMG to be a supportive, helpful presence, we are still able to help make a difference in their lives - even if the outcomes are not what any of us expected. JMG has provided grocery gift cards, emergency funds for unanticipated bills, relaxed deadlines and latitude to do the work in new and different ways - for us and for students. This means so much. Many, many students are finding success and we celebrate with them.

For now, “Outcome uncertain” may be the Magic 8 Ball answer about returning to campus, but whatever the future brings, my prediction is JMG and our partners will be there for Maine’s students, believing in them, supporting them, and cheering them on.

A True Public-Private Partnership
JMG is proud to be the only statewide nonprofit in Maine providing a continuum of support for students from grades six all the way through post-secondary education and onto successful pathways to careers. It is a continuum of support that is seamless thanks to many public and private partners, including The Sam L. Cohen Foundation, Hannaford, The Betterment Fund, and State Farm, who have recently provided generous funds to support Maine's students and Maine's future!
Thank You to All!
To learn more about JMG and how you can get involved, go to: