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Hoosier JAG Specialists And Statewide JAG Program Receive National Honors
Updated August 1, 2017 7:04 AM
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - Indiana's Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) Specialists and support staff from its 12 economic growth regions were nationally recognized for their respective efforts in increasing graduation rates, post-secondary education and employment placements.

Outstanding Specialists honored at the 34th Annual JAG National Training Seminar in Las Vegas, Nev., include:

  • REGION 1: Ray Davis, East Chicago Central High School
  • REGION 2: Brian Warrell, Goshen Merit Learning Center
  • REGION 3: Christine Koegler, Impact Institute
  • REGION 4: Ken Dieruf, Crawfordsville High School
  • REGION 7: Dana Bottomley, Northview High School
  • REGION 9: Whitney Mathews, Madison Consolidated High School and April Pearson, Lawrenceburg High School
  • REGION 11: Kyela Jones, Vincennes Lincoln High School
  • REGION 12: Evan Casey, YouthBuild Indy and Jessica Kleffman, North Central High School

"Thanks to the continued leadership and dedication of our outstanding Hoosier JAG Specialists, Indiana has become a model state for providing opportunities to students and helping them overcome significant barriers to academic achievement," said Steve Braun, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. "Receiving so many national honors at local, regional and statewide levels is a reflection of the broad outreach JAG Indiana has on thousands of young Hoosier students."

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 third 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, 66 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 fifth straight year with the most scholarships secured. Indiana JAG students earned over $26 million to assist with their post-secondary educational pursuits. The second place state was less than $8 million.

High Performers Award

Eliot Jeremiah of North Central Indiana, Greg Lee of Western Indiana and Domonique Wilson of Northwest Indiana were also honored individually as "High Performers" for their work outside the classroom in securing employment and resources to assist their students.

Peak Performance Award

The annual award was given to JAG Indiana for achieving top five status nationally in several categories related to success with its out-of-school and alternative education programs. Recognition includes outstanding participation and group performance rates, as well as serving students with the most barriers in the two national models.

Website Feature Recognition Award

The annual award was given to JAG Indiana for media and video coverage of the JAG Indiana 10th anniversary celebration last winter.

Largest Delegation to Pre-NTS Award

The annual award was given to JAG Indiana for sending the most staff to the pre-conference workshops related to project-based learning initiatives, management and new staff training.

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 toward graduation, with 112 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 95 percent of participants and many students choose to continue their education after high school.

More than 18,000 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 the Indiana General Assembly, the JAG program is the largest in the JAG National network of 35 states and is funded through grants provided by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) and his administration serve on the JAG National Board and helped in securing funds for program expansion.

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