‘Guide them to the finish line’: JAG Nebraska teaches students life and workforce skills

Dozens of middle and high school students turned their attention to the JAG program Tuesday.
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 5:21 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - From event planning to team building activities, JAG Nebraska students elected as leaders in their student-led Nebraska state chapter got a chance to practice their career leadership skills.

Skills, which Jobs for America’s Graduates Nebraska State Director Shauna Paolini says are normally required in the workplace.

“JAG Nebraska is a four-credit class elective in middle schools and high schools across the state of Nebraska,” Paolini said.

JAG has held this event annually since it was founded in 2019. Now, JAG is available in 12 Nebraska school districts, exposing students to different careers and career leaders in the business and transportation industries.

“JAG Nebraska focuses on career technical education pathways and really wants students to explore first to know what’s available to them.”

Paolini also said this event teaches students about civic and social responsibility - something she says needs to be paid more attention to in school curriculums.

“We always have hands-on activities we’re always provoking communication and team building really giving them opportunities to use those skills such as a handshake or eye contact.”

Paolini says they’re preparing students in any way they can for life after graduation. She also says JAG Nebraska students graduate at a 98 percent success rate and 86 percent of those students are employed in part-time and full-time jobs while attending a university.

Juan Bahena, a South High School student, believes JAG helps students overcome their workplace fears and that is what empowered him to join JAG.

“They help you build your status so you can prepare more for your future such as your jobs and especially who you want to be,” Bahena said.

For Paolini, she says it’s never too early for students to broaden their opportunities and learn from career experts.

“Planting a seed early on to explore different options through student voice and choice,” Paolini said. “They’re telling their teacher which one they’re interested in and help guide them to the finish line.”

Paolini is hopeful more students will find interest in JAG so, it increases the total number of students enrolled.