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Local Students Overcome Challenges and Compete at Career Development Conference - February 24 2014

Close to 70 Northwest Indiana students from Gary, East Chicago, Hammond, Knox, and Michigan City participated at the Regional Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) Career Development Conference on February 7th at Indiana University Northwest in Gary.

JAG students are considered at-risk students who need assistance in completing high school and transitioning to employment or post-secondary education. The Career Development Conference (CDC) is one way to prepare them for the future by allowing them to compete in events to showcase employability related skills. Through individual competitions, students had the opportunity to advance and gain a spot to compete on March 14th in Indianapolis.

Competition sections included: Career Presentation, Cover Design, Creative Solutions, Critical Thinking, Employability Skills, Financial Literacy, Public Speaking, and Writing Skills. In addition, the JAG schools as a whole, competed in chapter competitions including banner design, JAG commercial, and a Service Learning Binder that clearly defines their community service activities.

Awards were presented at the end of the program recognizing the following recipients who will move on to the state:

Career Presentations-Zacahry Weis, AK Smith Area Career Center

Cover Design-Jasmine Alvarez, Roosevelt College & Career Academy

Creative Solutions-Jose Arcinida, Calumet New Tech High School

Critical Thinking-Kayla Patrick, AK Smith Area Career Center

Employability Skills-India Rodriguez-Gary West Side Leadership Academy

Financial Literacy-Damon Ellison-East Chicago Central High School

Public Speaking-Kayla Case, Calumet New Tech High School

Writing Skills-Sarah Horstman, Knox High School

In addition, recognition was given to Sabrina Ridgell from East Chicago Central as the JAG Outstanding Senior, Knox High School for their JAG banner and commercial, and Roosevelt College & Career Academy for the Service Learning Binder.

For further information about the local JAG program, contact Tamara Stump at 219-462-2940, ext. 32 or email

The local JAG program is an initiative of the Northwest Indiana Workforce Board. Sponsors for the CDC were Indiana University Northwest, Ivy Tech Community College, and the Center of Workforce Innovations.


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