Thunderbirds Charities has contributed $50,000 to Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates to assist vulnerable Arizona students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates program includes classroom instruction, competency-based project- based learning, adult mentoring, summer employment training, student-led leadership development, job, and post-secondary education placement services, as well as 12-months of follow-up services after high school graduation, according to a release. Due to COVID-19 and resulting school closures, JAG pivoted to a virtual model to continue providing uninterrupted services to its participants.
JAG coordinators are trauma-informed educators who double as mentors in local schools. Despite the disruption the pandemic has caused, they have continued providing services, including follow-up services and mentorship to their students for a full year after they graduate from high school, the release stated. This is especially critical for the most recent graduating class, the Class of 2020, as those face the most significant employment challenges in decades caused by the pandemic.
“Thunderbirds Charities recognizes the essential work that Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates is doing and the outstanding results we’re achieving, even amid an unprecedented pandemic. These funds will help more local youth disproportionately impacted by COVID to succeed in school, jobs, and life,” said Graciela Garcia Candia, president of Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates. “We appreciate Thunderbirds Charities, who have donated funds to JAG in the past, but this most recent gift has an even more significant impact during a challenging year! The Thunderbirds Charities’ recent donation will help us support Arizona’s most vulnerable young people and build a high-quality workforce across the state.”
JAG identifies Arizona youth who need additional support to graduate from high school and build a pathway to continued education, meaningful careers, and productive adulthood. This is particularly relevant today, given the variety of economic, academic and emotional challenges youth face in the COVID-19 era.
The organization partners with local school districts, the business community, the public sector and other non-profits to help young people stay in school and acquire the academic, personal, leadership and vocational skills they’ll need to be successful upon graduation.
It works with youth from sixth grade through age 24, running school and community-based programs throughout the state. Since 1980, it has served nearly 40,000 students.