AMC/NH-JAG Trail Crew 2018 – eighth year of partnership

The New Hampshire Jobs for America’s Graduates program (NH-JAG) and the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) had another successful season of trail stewardship and hands-on job skill development with Berlin and Woodsville High Schools. This year, ten students from Berlin and five from Woodsville completed meaningful trail work with local and federal partners. Through their excellent work on these lands, NH-JAG students learned and practiced practical job skills and positive work habits. Additionally, these students gained awareness of career opportunities in the trades, and in outdoor resource management and recreation. Students from each high school worked four weeks under the supervision of AMC trail crew leaders Becca McNeeley and Ben Chase. The AMC crew leaders always bring a special dedication to their work with the NH-JAG students, and Ben and Becca were no exception. Throughout this report you will see quoted the “Work Habits of Exceptional Employees” that Ben and Becca crafted and delivered throughout the season. This program maintains its strong track record of youth engagement and job skills development thanks to support from the Caswell Family Foundation, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and Tillotson Fund.

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Governor Recognizes New Hampshire Jobs For America’s Graduates for Outstanding Student Outcomes

MANCHESTER, NH – When New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu today recognized New Hampshire Jobs for America’s Graduates (NH-JAG) for its growth and outstanding student outcomes, he was not just talking numbers. He was talking people.

While NH-JAG surpassing five of five performance outcomes, including achieving a 100% graduation rate for the Class of 2017, is extremely impressive, it is the youth behind those numbers that represent the true success, according to the Governor.

Joe Rodger participated in the JAG program at Woodsville High School (WHS) and by the time he graduated from WHS, he was already serving as a firefighter in the towns of Bath and Monroe. He entered Lakes Region Community College and recently graduated with a dual degree in Fire Science and Fire Protection. He plans to further his education.

Juliette Gonzalez participated in the JAG program at Manchester West High School and went on to obtain her LNA before attending Southern New Hampshire University to study healthcare administration. She is currently employed at Catholic Medical Center and plans to return to school in the future to obtain her Master of Public Health degree.

“This program is making a real difference in the lives of so many New Hampshire youth, not only in school, but in work and life,” said Governor Sununu, in presenting NH-JAG with the “5 of 5” Award for its growth and outstanding student outcomes alongside Jobs for America’s Graduates President & CEO Ken Smith. The award is the highest National Performance Award from Jobs for America’s Graduates. NH-JAG has earned the “5 of 5” Award for 12 consecutive years and has successfully served over 17,000 young people. NH-JAG surpassed established goals in each of five categories, with the Class of 2017 having a 100% graduation rate, a 92% positive outcomes rate, an 81% employment rate, an 87% full-time jobs rate and a 97% full-time placement rate.

During the 2017-18 program year alone, NH-JAG served 190 youth in five high schools – Berlin High School, Manchester Memorial High School, Raymond High School, Winnacunnet High School and Woodsville High School – and 60 out of school participants at two locations in Claremont and Concord. The goal is to serve even more students moving forward, with the support of public-private partnerships.

NH-JAG Executive Director Janet Arnett was pleased to announce the addition of four new schools to the program this year – Laconia High School, Littleton High School, Manchester School of Technology and Newport High School. “With new funding from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services and the AT&T Foundation, we are able to expand to 11 programs this year and create new initiatives in project based learning,” said Arnett. The significant grant provided by AT & T to help grow the program is in keeping with its Aspire Program, which brings together AT&T employees, nonprofits and community members to help equip students with the skills they need to lead the digital, global economy.

Manchester Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bolgen Vargas is thrilled that NH-JAG will be in another Manchester location. “We are proud that the Manchester School of Technology is New Hampshire-JAG’s newest program site. The mission of NH-JAG aligns with our school district’s goals to prepare students to become career and college ready. At MST, students have direct access to their futures through Career Technical Education opportunities. NH-JAG is a valuable liaison for students as they venture into the world,” he said.

Governor Sununu, a member of the Jobs for America’s Graduates Board of Directors, would like to see NH-JAG serving even more students, and hopes public-private partnerships will be the mechanism to make this happen. “By working together, we can best leverage dollars to provide students with knowledge and hands on experience in the workforce to help young men and women in New Hampshire stay in school, graduate and go on to succeed in life and become valued citizens,” he said.

New Hampshire Jobs for America’s Graduates (NH JAG) receives grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation to provide a paid summer trail crew experience for up to 20 teenagers from Berlin and Woodsville.

NH JAG recently received a $14,000 grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. The grant will help further NH JAG’s mission of ensuring New Hampshire’s youth are empowered to achieve their full potential by facilitating learning, skill development and community involvement.

NH JAG will again partner with AMC to deliver a customized summer teen trail crew experience for underserved teenagers.  This project will provide paid summer employment, skill-building service work in environmental stewardship and exposure to careers in conservation and land management.

About Organization
NH JAG’s mission is to cultivate youth success through academic, leadership, and workforce opportunities in collaboration with business and community partnerships.  Our goal is to expand and continue to serve New Hampshire young adults who will become the leaders of our communities in the future.

About the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation is New Hampshire’s statewide community foundation, founded in 1962 by and for the people of New Hampshire. The Foundation manages a growing collection of more than 1,800 funds created by generous individuals, families and businesses, and awards nearly $40 million in grants and scholarships every year. The Foundation works with generous and visionary citizens to maximize the power of their giving, supports great work happening in our communities and leads and collaborates on high-impact initiatives. For more information, please visit or call 603-225-6641.


NH JAG Leadership Awards Event

On Tuesday February 20 at the Grappone Center in Concord, New Hampshire Jobs for America’s Graduates (NH-JAG) honored Governor John H. Sununu at its 12th annual Leadership Awards Breakfast.

Recognizing former Governor Sununu for his contribution to the state as a whole, and for his long time support of its career skills leadership program for youth, NH-JAG Board member and former state senator Bobby Stephen shared fond memories of their work together across party lines: Governor John Sununu, was ahead of his time, he demonstrated innovation and showed a commitment to solving problems. The JAG program came to N.H. during his administration and has continued to serve New Hampshire’s youth uninterrupted for 30 years.

In accepting the leadership award, former Governor Sununu praised the NH-JAG organization, calling it “one of the great programs for youth” in the state and urging those in attendance to continue to nurture its growth in New Hampshire. To the NH-JAG students participating in the event, the former Governor said, “What a great favor you do for yourself by being a part of this program.”

Current Governor Chris Sununu offered opening remarks for the event, continuing his father’s legacy of support for NH-JAG.  He praised and encouraged the continued public-private partnerships as evidenced by the corporate sponsors in attendance. Governor Sununu’s passion for New Hampshire’s younger citizens was evident as he enthusiastically chatted in between photo opportunities with JAG students from Berlin, Manchester Memorial, and Winnacunnet High Schools.

Eversource Energy was also honored for their leadership in workforce development, with specific mention of their innovative certificate and internship programs such as the Electrical Line Worker Certificate Program.  Other honorees included Berlin School District, one of the first school districts to adopt a NH-JAG program that continues today. Former NH-JAG students Juliette Gonzalez and Joseph Rodger both received NH-JAG Alumnus awards in recognition of their leadership in their communities and being an inspiring example to all young adults.

New Hampshire Jobs for America’s Graduates (NH JAG) is a statewide program for youth who seek to overcome obstacles in attaining a high school education and in pursuing career and postsecondary educational interests. Through comprehensive competency based curriculum, NH-JAG facilitates learning, skill development and community involvement, empowering youth to identify and achieve their dreams.







Thank you to the following sponsors for their generous contributions:



Catholic Medical Center
Manchester Community College
Northeast Delta Dental


Baker Newman & Noyes
CCA Global Partners, Inc.
St. Mary’s Bank


NH JAG students Dinebari (Manchester Memorial High School), Tyler (Raymond High School), Emilee and Sarah (Winnacunnet High School) attended the 21st Annual National Student Leadership Academy in Washington, DC this past December. 
Thank you Nellie Mae Education Foundation!

2017 DC - Copy D.A. at NSLA IMG950825