AT&T Foundation awards $25,000 to Jobs for Michigan's Graduates for program expansion
Grand Rapids, Mich - The AT&T Foundation awarded Jobs for Michigan's Graduates (JMG) a $25,000 program expansion grant that will impact up to 160 of Michigan’s most at-risk youth. Northview Next Career Center, one of the new program locations supported by the grant, hosted a check presentation event on Tuesday, January 14, 2020.
These new program locations, along with 75+ existing JMG program locations, will engage with, educate and support youth in career pathway exploration, critical soft-skills development and work-based learning opportunities.
In the state of Michigan, 11,000 youth drop out of high school annually which puts them at risk of life-long lower income potential than their peers with diplomas and access to post-secondary opportunities. JMG delivers transformational services through a nationally recognized curriculum and assistance with post-graduation transition into employment, job certification and/or post-secondary education. Youth who graduate high school earn 55.3% more per hour, on average than those who do not. Youth who go on to an associate degree or a vocational certification have the potential to earn 59% more per hour. The AT&T Foundation grant gives JMG the opportunity to impact more youth to gain an education and guide them to sustainable wages and real career pathways.
Presenting the check on behalf of the AT&T Foundation was Ruth Gaudard, Area Manager External Affairs, AT&T Michigan. “Our company has been a proud supporter of Jobs for America’s Graduates for many years. We have always been impressed with the work going on in the program and the impressive outcomes that prove the impact it is having on Michigan’s at-risk youth.” said Ruth. “JMG has uniquely positioned itself to be the premier program for graduation and career readiness for this dynamic youth population in the state of Michigan. Funding this program allows more youth to focus on the next steps following graduation, particularly post-secondary education and employment pathways to success.”
These outcomes include six consecutive years of graduation rates that are 90% or higher for all dropout prevention programming and 85% rates of employment, post-secondary education or the military for graduates in that same time frame. In addition, over the past four-years, the JMG graduation rate has exceeded the average school rate by 16.4%.
JMG students from Northview Next, Lizzy Grandon and Javont Hackett, spoke on the impact JMG has on their lives and view of the future. “JMG has opened my eyes to opportunity and given me hope for the future” explained Lizzy. Javont spoke about the leadership skills he has received as part of the program along with knowledge on how to express himself. Both students credited JMG for enabling them to believe in themselves and realize the future that is possible through hard work and determination.
Youth Solutions, Inc. (YS) is on a mission to equip young adults with the skills to overcome barriers and win in education, employment, and as citizens. We envision a Michigan where every young adult is educated, employed and career bound.
To carry out our mission, Youth Solutions’ leading program, Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG), provides service to 3,000+ youth hailing from 245 cities, towns and villages, all of whom have significant barriers to education and employment success. Through proven education and employment-related solutions, we ensure Michigan’s young people earn a high school credential and begin down a pathway towards meaningful careers and economic mobility.
About Youth Solutions, Inc.
Youth Solutions, Inc. is a premier youth opportunity organization. Our leading program, Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates, delivers employability and education services to nearly 3,000 young people across 40+ cities. For more information about Youth Solutions, Inc. or to become a partner, visit us at www.ouryouthsolutions.org, follow us on Twitter at JobsforMIGrads, or “like” us on Facebook at JobsforMichigansGraduates.