JAG induction ceremony 2018

Ceremony celebrating new Jobs for Americas Graduates students’ at RHS

JAG induction ceremony 2018

Esther Rich

Emma Austin, Editor-in-Chief

“I’ve very proud of them, they really have grown a lot…” 

This was teary-eyed Job Specialist for Jobs for Americas Graduates (JAG) teacher at Renton High, Esther Rich, in her opening sentiments at the “Initiation and Induction Ceremony” Friday, December 7.

Rich was emotional sharing her deep care and admiration for her past, present, and recent JAG students.

After the short opening, guest speaker at the event, Terry Derrig, who is now a Worksite Learning Apprenticeship and Internship Coordinator, shared her impression of the program and its available resources. Derrig herself was formerly a JAG teacher for 4 years.

“JAG Programs provide students with intensive job readiness, preparation, leadership development, academic mediation, and job and college placement services, including outgoing support for a full year after graduation,” Derrig described.

After divulging int

o what the program can do for 9th and 10th graders who take the course, the president for JAG, Michelle Aguilar-Ramirez, called for the chapter members to stand and take vows of membership in the Career Association.

“I solemnly pledge that I will carry out to the best of my ability/ all of the duties and responsibilities of membership/in the JAG Association/I fully understand and accept/ the purpose of this organization/ and I will conduct myself/ to reflect honor upon the organization and will maintain high standards/ in all my business activates,” they repeated in unison.

Next came the passing of leadership roles onto the next set of officers for the chapter. Each student accepted

and understood the responsibilities repeating, “Yes I do.”

The new officers also took a pledge as read by Ms. Rich.

“I understood fully/the responsibilities and duties of office/to which I was elected/I hereby promise to accept/and fulfil these to the best of my ability,” answered each officer.

Then they lit candles (plastic ones) to symbolize their dedication to the program.

In unison, new members and officers read the Career Association Creed aloud:

  • I believe I have the right to establish high personal and career goals and to develop those skills necessary to achieve my goals.
  • I believe I must choose a career appropriate to my interests, abilities and aptitudes.
  • I believe the success of the free enterprise system depends on the cooperation of business, education, labor, government, community and the youth of this nation.
  • I believe each individual has the responsibility to develop an appreciation for productive work and a respect for all careers.
  • I believe individuals should have the opportunity to develop their full potential and recognize their value to society.
  • I believe my success is earned through my efforts at school and at work.
  • I believe the growth of my abilities and experiences gained through the career association will assure my future career success.

After this exchange, the JAG Alumni table was recognized followed by applause, and two past JAG students gave a speech on their experiences.

The first student, Stephanie Dennis, shared how JAG helped her overcome struggles as an underclassman and gain confidence she never had before. She said the program was very “tight-knit,” and helped her step out of her comfort zone.

“It taught me self- confidence necessary to love myself. Now I have a Job, and I’m on track to graduate,” Dennis noted.

The second speaker was Nunu Afalava, who spoke about a deeper benefit he gained from the class in the form of support.

“For me, JAG was more than an academic experience, it was a place for people like me. For teenagers who found it hard to be happy in school; this was my safe place,” explained Afalava.

He did some self-reflection on this idea, and what it meant for him to have a safe place.

“Now, in this day and age, safe places have a bad rap to them; people make fun of others who need their own place to cope, even I did,” he explained.

Afalava concluded the speech by sharing, “my experience in JAG could never be replaced.”

The buffet shortly followed, closing the night with an outstandingly planned menu, some giddy and smiling families, and patient food scoopers.


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