December 2019 Newsletter  
So often the holiday season finds us reflecting on the past or anticipating the future. Here at JMG it is also important for us to acknowledge that we would not be where we are in the present moment, full of gratitude and hope for Maine’s youth, if it were not for you. Thank you for all that you have done, and all that you will do, to ensure a brighter future for Maine’s youth in the New Year. 
For me, JMG means a bigger, brighter future. JMG helps me prepare for the real world. It's taught me how to dress for specific occasions; how to interview for jobs; and, it's getting me ready to go to college!

Shane Craig, 8th grade
Ridge View Community School, Dexter

From Isolated to Inspired: The JMG Effect

In the last six years, Amy-Kate Spaulding’s life has changed so dramatically that looking back now, she barely recognizes herself. “I was at Mount View Middle School and I was very shy. I had been diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I didn’t have many friends.”

Amy-Kate also struggled with learning disabilities, including ADHD and short-term memory issues, which added to her feelings of isolation. “I was also a heavy-set kid and I was teased a lot. I avoided most of my classmates and only spoke to a few teachers. I had a very, very small social circle.”
Amy-Kate Spaulding and JMG College Success Specialist Jess Rodrigue
When she entered the seventh grade, Amy-Kate was introduced to the JMG specialist at Mount View. Instead of seeing a shy, reluctant student, he saw leadership qualities that she never knew existed. Slowly she came out of her shell. With her specialist’s encouragement, she eventually joined the track team and the cheerleading club.

“JMG made a tremendous difference to me. I had become a totally different person. I was a lot more out-going.” By the time she hit high school, JMG had become a very important part of Amy-Kate’s life. The new freshman took advantage of JMG’s continuum of support and enrolled in the program at Mount View High School where she met Specialist Hauns Bassett. 

“Mr. Bassett became someone I really trusted. I felt like I could be myself with him. When he asked about my day, he really listened to me. He showed interest in all of us. It felt like he cared about me, not just as a student, but as a person.” Read more
Why We Invest in JMG: The Hartford

The Hartford is a leader in property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds. But more than an insurance company, The Hartford believes that all people are capable of achieving amazing things with the right encouragement and support, and has committed to positively impacting the lives of 10 million of their neighbors by year-end 2022. In 2018 alone, The Hartford’s employees provided 169,000 volunteer hours to their local communities, and the company contributed $12 million to charitable organizations across the country.
The Hartford employees volunteer
filling backpacks for kids in need .
By Dave Gilbert
Regional Vice President - Northeast , The Hartford

At The Hartford, we believe in building safe, strong and successful communities where our employees live and work. With a goal of positively impacting 10 million lives by the end of 2022, we harness the volunteer power of our more than 19,000 employees, and partner with like-minded organizations to make a meaningful difference together. 
The Hartford’s South Portland, Maine office is a new location for the company, with about 400 employees. We are excited to be part of The Hartford family, and were humbled to be given the opportunity to seek a local organization to receive a Community Impact Grant. We soon found the task was not an easy one due to the number of worthy causes supporting our neighbors. We defined our main objective as the desire to help foster and grow talent for our future workforce. Naturally, JMG rose to the surface.
We view this investment as a starting point and look forward to becoming involved in JMG by working with students to explore careers, conducting mock interviews as students prepare for their first jobs, or hosting business tours to provide Maine students the opportunity to gain knowledge from a business environment. We are proud to play a part in supporting our local communities and making a difference in peoples’ lives, and JMG is a great partner for us.
Through the Eyes of a JMG Specialist
  By Kerry Kowalczyk
JMG MELMAC College & Career Specialist, Windham High School
Kerry Kowalcyzk (3rd from left) and Windham MELMAC students
Heading into her final year at Windham High School, like a lot of seniors, Savanna had her sights set on college; unfortunately, she also had a father in prison and a mother disabled by a severe autoimmune disease. When I met her, I was heading into my second year as the MELMAC College and Career Specialist at Windham. It was a fairly new position created through a partnership between the MELMAC Education Foundation and JMG. MELMAC believes students who start exploring different post-secondary pathways early in their high school career will be far more successful in transitioning to that next chapter.
I knew Savanna was going to need my help. Along with going to school full-time, this 18-year-old was also the primary breadwinner in her family, which meant paying for rent, phone, electricity and car insurance. Savanna also took care of a 4-year-old sister, drove her mother to medical appointments, and when her father was released from prison half-way through her senior year, Savanna transported him to and from job interviews. Despite these challenges, my hope was to keep her on track for college. I helped her study in order to bring up her SAT scores. Together, we filled out reams of financial aid forms, doing what we could to show that Savanna was on her own financially, without parental support. I was able to help her navigate what can be an overwhelming college application process by breaking it down and encouraging her to take it step-by-step.   [ Savanna is one of many students in need of help. Read more:]
We Do What We Do Because of You
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 Avangrid Foundation in partnership with Central Maine Power, Procter & Gamble, and Wells Fargo who have recently provided generous funds to support the future of our students and the future of Maine.
Thank You to All & Happy Holidays!