STUDENTS ENROLLED in Morse’s Jobs for Maine’s Graduates class are pictured after winning several awards at the Career Development Conference in Augusta. From left, in the back row, are Adam Pierce, Emma Campbell, Logan Ellwell, Richard Reynolds, Jason Homan, Jocelyn Condon, Evan Millett and Sara Penuel. Front center, Maria Morris, JMG specialist, and student Ari Wells. “JMG gives you all the tools you need to build your path,” said student Austin Talgo. “It’s going to help you all the way through high school, and from there you can take that knowledge and use it for the rest of your life.”

STUDENTS ENROLLED in Morse’s Jobs for Maine’s Graduates class are pictured after winning several awards at the Career Development Conference in Augusta. From left, in the back row, are Adam Pierce, Emma Campbell, Logan Ellwell, Richard Reynolds, Jason Homan, Jocelyn Condon, Evan Millett and Sara Penuel. Front center, Maria Morris, JMG specialist, and student Ari Wells. “JMG gives you all the tools you need to build your path,” said student Austin Talgo. “It’s going to help you all the way through high school, and from there you can take that knowledge and use it for the rest of your life.”

BATH

Juniors and seniors at Morse High School who competed in the Career Development Conference at the Augusta Civic Center last month returned with first, second and third place awards in categories such as job interviewing, collaborative problem solving and marketing, among others.

Students who competed in the event were enrolled in Jobs for Maine’s Graduates, a statewide program designed to help Maine high school students prepare for the future after graduation.

JMG is a one-credit career preparatory elective at Morse that serves freshmen through seniors and is focused on helping them prepare for life beyond high school.

“We work toward graduating and earning that diploma because that’s the first key to opportunity and choices,” said Maria Morris, the JMG specialist at Morse.

For juniors and seniors, Morris said the year consists of students selecting a goal that aligns with their strengths and interests, and then coming up with a postsecondary plan.

In addition to working on resumes, cover letters and interviews, students are also engaged in several service projects throughout the year.

Morris said the projects “make what we’re learning about real. I like it to be authentic.”

In the fall, students participated in a student-driven project where they interviewed residents at the Anchorage Retirement Home and created a directory for the residents, which Morris said helped students practice their interviewing skills.

A significant portion of the class is also focused on preparing for the CDC throughout the year.

The CDC is a statewide competition for JMG juniors and seniors, where students take the skills they learn in the classroom and apply it to a real world setting.

Seniors Jocelyn Condon, Richard Reynolds and Austin Talgo, all won first place for the Job Application Packet category, a tedious process, according to Condon.

Students were required to send in a cover letter, a resume and references four weeks before the competition for evaluation.

“We had picked out a job of our choice that we were interested in and based our cover letter on that job,” said Condon.

Morris said she was impressed with the students’ first place win.

“It is one of the more difficult events, so it really is a feather in their cap that they got first place. It’s a lot of hard work because you’re really working toward getting that perfection,” she said.

Talgo also walked away with a first place win in the Job Interviewing category after participating in a live interview at the competition and said he “felt confident” walking into it.

Condon said the most challenging part of preparing for the conference was the “two days before the conference where it’s crazy in here and we’re trying to get everything all put together.”

According to Morris, each event was scored according to a rubric, aside from the group challenge category.

For the group challenge, students were given a box of raw spagetti, marshmallows, a yard of tape and were required to build the tallest free-standing structure and balance a big marshmallow on top of it. They were given 20 minutes to put the structure together, the purpose of the challenge being to encourage students to communicate as a team.

Reynolds, Jason Homan, Emma Campbell and Adam Pierce placed second in the challenge.

For each student, future plans after graduation varied from pursuing video game programming to joining the U.S. Marine Corps.

For Condon, who has been a JMG student for three years, the biggest take away from the class and the conference was being confident about her skills.

“I definitely have improved with public speaking, interviews and communication skills,” she said. “It’s really helped me grow up.”

“JMG gives you all the tools you need to build your path,” added Talgo. “It’s going to help you all the way through high school, and from there you can take that knowledge and use it for the rest of your life.”

Talgo and junior Logan Elwell also won first place in the “Pitch It!” category, and Condon and Pierce received a third place recognition in Communication; students Evan Millett and Sara Penuel also received a third place award in Marketplace Presentation.

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JOBS FOR MAINE’S Graduates is a statewide program designed to help Maine high school students prepare for the future after graduation.

JMG is a one-credit career preparatory elective at Morse High School in Bath that serves freshmen through seniors.


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