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Iowa Jobs for America's Graduates (I-JAG) provides a comprehensive school-to-career program for high school students who are faced with multiple barriers to success. Our program teaches performance competencies which are needed in order for our students to: succeed in school, thrive in the workplace, and lead productive and fulfilling lives. Our vision is to lead every I-JAG student to graduation, post-secondary education, a successful career, and/or life-long learning.
Our students, identified by their school and I-JAG staff, are among those at the highest risk of disengaging and/or dropping out of school; or need additional support in order to make a successful transition from high school to adulthood. I-JAG serves young people with "barriers to success". The more barriers to success that a young person has the more he or she is considered at-risk of graduation from high school or having a successful transition from school to an entry level job that leads to a career.
I-JAG provides students with life skills and job attainment as well as academic support, assistance with post secondary transition, and leadership development. I-JAG helps students identify interests and achievable career plans through job shadowing, part-time jobs, community service projects, skills competitions and service learning. I-JAG follows each student for one year after graduation to assist in overcoming any barrier that might impede their continued success.
In 2008-2009, I-JAG has 22 programs in 18 high schools across Iowa and provides programming to approximately 850 in-school youth, and follow-up services to 350 students who graduated in the class of 2007-2008. In I-JAG's nine year history, we have served over 6,350 students. The program is modeled after the highly successful and nationally proven Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) organization.
93% of I-JAG youth graduate with their class or within one year after their class. 96% of I-JAG graduates are enrolling in post-secondary education, training or the military, or are employed full-time.
- Jessica Thornton
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