116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES — Two Cedar Rapids high school students qualified to compete next month at the National Career Development Conference in Texas.
High school students from across the state were provided an opportunity last month to learn more about careers in high-demand fields such as health care, and compete at a statewide level in areas of employability, financial literacy, prepared speaking, project-based learning and more. Those who scored well qualified to compete at the Jobs for America’s Graduates National Career Development Conference in May in Dallas, Texas.
Jefferson High School students Pacific Roussi qualified to compete nationally in employability skills, and Neola Washington qualified to compete as an emerging leader.
“We are proud to support (Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates) by investing in programming that can increase graduation rates for young people of great promise and expose them to high-demand health care occupations,” said Mary Lawyer, the Wellmark Foundation executive director. “Working to improve access to education and career pathways within our communities through programs like iJAG, can have positive outcomes on the overall health and quality of life for those involved.”
Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates assists students with barriers to graduating from high school or transitioning from high school to continued education and careers. It provides dropout prevention and school-to-work transition services for students beginning in seventh grade.
More than 400 students from 33 Iowa schools participated in the Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates 2022 Career Development Conference presented by the Wellmark Foundation on April 7 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.
Students met with experts in various career fields, including health care, finance, energy, retail, utilities and more, and participated in hands-on demonstrations.
In addition to attending conferences, the students collaborate on projects, hold leadership roles within the program, complete class assignments and participate in several community engagement activities focusing on career development, job attainment, job retention, basic and personal skills, and leadership and self-development.
The Wellmark Foundation awarded Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates $25,000 to assist with this conference and a leadership development conference held last fall.
“iJAG helps students step into their purpose and passion and helps those who want to get into a different place in life,” said Laurie Phelan, iJAG president and chief executive officer. “Support from organizations like the Wellmark Foundation makes all the difference to these young people. It also shows them organizations want to help them be successful now, and later when they’re deciding on a career.”
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