JMG Program Gives Youth the Steps to be Successful
When Vanessa Godin came to ACES Academy she had never been successful in school. She didn’t do well in junior high and from there, she transitioned to an alternative education high school and then to the JMG (Jobs for Michigan Graduates) program. Her home life was troubled, and she ended up staying with a legal guardian. She also had some significant interaction with the criminal justice system.
While the process wasn’t always easy, Vanessa began to learn from her mistakes. She continued to show up to school and mature. By the end, she entered JMG and ran for the Career Association. She became Career Association President and went to Washington DC for the NSLA.
Vanessa completed over 120 hours in the JMG program. She worked at Burger King through the WIOA program, received instruction on career development, did college tours and had help creating a plan for college. Her advisors constantly reminded her of her potential, because she didn’t always believe in herself.
Vanessa ended up graduating in the top 5% of her class and she even spoke at the graduation ceremony. She continued to work at Burger King rising to a manager position.
Vanessa just completed her first semester at Alpena Community College, receiving all A’s and B’s. She plans to continue there for the next three semesters with hopes to one day be a social worker.
“The WIOA and JMG programs have given me the steps to be successful,” says Vanessa. “I am now the only person in my family to graduate high school. I am also the only one to go to college.”