HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (March 7, 2022) – Ten Henderson County Career Academy students in the Jobs for North Carolina’s Graduates (JNCG) program earned three 2nd Place victories at the state-level 2022 JNCG Leadership Summit, where they competed in events to demonstrate their career readiness and community leadership skills.
Established in 2017, the state-based JNCG program is a state affiliate of the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) network, and is dedicated to dropout prevention, postsecondary education, and career and leadership development among high school students.
The Henderson County Career Academy is one of only eight North Carolina high schools chosen to participate in JNCG, which is sponsored by the N.C. Department of Commerce and Communities in Schools of North Carolina.
JNCG provides classroom instruction and organizational support to students who face significant barriers to success, and follows up with students to provide guidance and employer engagement for one year after graduation. The Career Academy currently serves 30 students with direct classroom instruction, and follows up with 25 graduates.
“We have had overwhelming success in helping students find gainful full-time employment, access to higher education and certification courses, or enlistment in the military using a results-driven approach tracked through a national data management system,” said Arthur Kelly, JNCG Specialist at the Career Academy.
On February 23, the Career Academy sent 10 competitors to the “Navigating to Success” JNCG Leadership Summit at Davidson-Davie Community College, where they participated in three individual events and one team-based event centered on workplace skills and career readiness.
Hailey Chaney took 2nd Place in the Employability Skills event, which required Chaney to create a resume and cover letter targeted towards a selected, obtainable job opportunity, then conduct a mock interview with a panel of judges. She simulated an interview for an internship at the Flat Rock Playhouse, because she wants to work in theater production and possibly pursue an acting career after college, said Kelly.
Kenzie Allen placed 2nd in the Career Preparation event, for which she created a presentation demonstrating her ability to research and summarize the details surrounding her chosen career pathway as a paramedic. “Kenzie’s slideshow about becoming a paramedic was outstanding overall, and worthy of great praise,” said Kelly.
Cody Cuthbert, Gavin DiFresco, Malachi Hamilton, and Ren Fakhoury earned 2nd Place in the Creative Decision Making team event, which required teams to solve a business-related dilemma within a 30-minute time limit, then present their solutions to a panel of judges. The given scenario was keeping a restaurant in business after the dining area was damaged in a storm, and many teams considered options like a temporary tent, delivery-only, or working under limited capacity for outdoor dining, said Kelly.
“Ours was the only team that suggested using drones to deliver, and making menu changes to accommodate delivery without affecting food quality, which stood out as exceptionally creative among their peers,” Kelly said.
Overall, these students did a fantastic job,” he said. “I’m a very proud educator today.”
More About JAG and JNCG
The JAG network has helped students achieve positive outcomes for almost 40 years nationwide, and the state-based JNCG Program serves eight high schools in North Carolina. JNCG Specialists are dedicated, caring teachers who are trained in trauma-informed care, project-based learning, and employer engagement, all for the purpose of helping students find and navigate their own personalized path to success. They teach life skills, career readiness, job survival and employability skills, as well as provide individualized guidance to these select students under the mentorship of a College and Career Specialist.