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Hoosier JAG Specialists & Statewide JAG Program Receive National Honors
Updated July 31, 2016 10:24 AM | Filed under: Education
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - Indiana's Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) specialists and support staff from Indiana's twelve economic growth regions were nationally recognized for their respective efforts in increasing graduation rates, post-secondary education and employment placements.

Those honored at the 36th Annual JAG National Training Seminar in Orlando include:

  • REGION 1: Ray Davis of East Chicago Central High School and Larry Keilman of Hammond High School

  • REGION 2: Jordan Willsey of Goshen High School and Brenda Yocum of Rochester High School

  • REGION 3: Andrea Freeze of DeKalb High School

  • REGION 4: Christine Shaffer of Twin Lakes High School

  • REGION 5: Elizabeth Moffett of Whiteland Community High School

  • REGION 6: Melissa Fritz of Blackford High School

  • REGION 7: Audrey Harbison of Terre Haute North High School

  • REGION 8: Derek Morgan of Owen Valley High School

  • REGION 9: Whitney Mathews of Madison Consolidated High School

  • REGION 11: Jody Robinson of Tell City High School

  • REGION 12: Patricia Thacker of McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology and Jammie Prezzy of Ben Davis High School

"Thanks to the leadership and dedication of outstanding Hoosier JAG specialists, Indiana continues to be a national leader in reinforcing positive opportunities for students with significant barriers to academic achievement," said Steven J. Braun, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. "These well-merited national honors at the local, regional and statewide levels is testament to the positive impact JAG Indiana has on the lives of so many young Hoosiers."

In addition to the individual accolades, Indiana's JAG program received a handful of statewide awards, including:

"5 of 5" Award
Indiana received this highest national honor for a JAG program for the second-consecutive year. The "5 of 5" Award is bestowed upon exemplary state JAG programs that achieve success levels in excess of the national program goals for graduation rates, employment, positive outcomes and full-time placement. Additionally, 55 individual JAG schools and eleven of Indiana's 12 economic growth regions received local and regional "5 of 5" Awards.

Scholarships Secured: 1st Place National Award
Indiana was recognized for the fourth straight year with the most scholarships secured. JAG students earned over $21M to assist with their post-secondary educational pursuits.

High Performers Award
Shaun Brames of Southwest Indiana, Cathy Carter of Marion County and Jennifer Robinson of South Central Indiana were also honored individually as "High Performers" for their work outside the classroom in securing employment and resources to assist their students. Evan Casey of Marion County was praised for his work serving dropouts through the work and learn model of YouthBuild Indy.

Peak Performance Award
The annual award was given to JAG Indiana for earning outstanding participation and group performance rates in serving students with the most barriers in the dropout recovery and alternative education models.

About Indiana Jobs for America's Graduates (
JAG is a state-based, national non-profit organization dedicated to assisting students with barriers to success by helping them overcome academic challenges in a path towards graduation, with 110 programs active in Indiana. Students receive adult mentoring from a JAG Specialist while in school and one year of follow-up counseling after graduation. Indiana's program graduates more than 94 percent of participants and many students choose to continue their education after high school.

More than 15,000 students have participated in Indiana's JAG program since 2006. Students are taught up to 88 competencies such as critical thinking, team leadership and effective communications skills that increase their employability skills. With recent program expansions driven by Governor Mike Pence and the Indiana General Assembly, the JAG program is the largest in the JAG National network of 32 states and is funded through grants provided by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

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