The Jessica Brown Memorial Scholarship is distributed each year in honor of our dear EmployIndy colleague who passed on April 18,2018, to a student who exemplifies Jessica’s selfless personality and passion for volunteer work. This year, the second annual Jessica Brown Memorial Scholarship was given to Chloe Thaman, graduating senior from Decatur Central High School.
“I was so surprised when they called my name,” she said. “I thought my interview wouldn’t go well because I was so nervous beforehand, but I just talked about the things I love to do and how I’m passionate about helping those around me.”
Chloe Thaman (left) poses with her award, alongside EmployIndy’s associate director of school engagement, Beth Bowling
As part of the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) program, Chloe held the position of Civic Awareness and Community Service Chair. She is passionate about making sure others feel included and encourages them to get involved in different volunteer opportunities – just like Jessica. “She is just one of those people who is always trying to find a way to make everyone’s day better,” said Julie Flint, Chloe’s JAG Specialist for the past two years.
Chloe connected the Decatur Central JAG Program with Worthington Place, a local senior living community, to host game nights and engage the residents. In addition, she regularly volunteered at Gleaners Food Bank and Operation Shoebox where she prepared gift boxes for families in need.
Alongside her hours of community service, Chloe worked at Meals on Wheels where she has been described as a model employee and valuable team member. But she decided to take her role one step further, connecting Meals on Wheels to JAG by assisting in the scheduling of them to come and speak to her JAG class.
Chloe is planning to go to Ivy Tech Community College this fall where she will complete her general studies courses prior to transferring to a four-year university to study social work and music. Her dream is to perform on Broadway, and she wants to connect her love of music and acting with social work as a way to help people.
Goodwill’s Indianapolis Metropolitan High School recently selected Daesha Cottrell as their outstanding student for 2019. Daesha is a participant in EmployIndy’s Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) program, which is helping to prepare her for success after high school. Learn more about her story and the impact of JAG in the video below.
Today 136 Marion County high school juniors and seniors met at the Indianapolis Marriott East for the regional JAG Career Development Conference – including competitions around employability, skill development, and career goals. All students are part of the Jobs for America’s Graduates program, better known as JAG, which has a presence in fourteen high schools throughout the county.
The morning kicked off with former Colts player Marlin Jackson, speaking to to the audience of students, JAG specialists, and volunteer judges from local businesses. “In life, in every aspect, you will need a growth mindset – especially in the workplace. When you get criticism, can you take it or do you get defensive? When you take that constructive criticism and utilize it, you grow. That’s why it’s called a growth mindset.”
EmployIndy would like to extend a big “thank you” to our sponsors for their support of this event! Our sponsors for the 2019 CDC included gold level sponsors: Bank of America and Fight for Life Foundation; silver level sponsors: St. Vincent/Ascension and Duke Realty; and bronze level sponsors: PNC Bank and Lift Academy. Sponsors had representatives attend the event to serve as judges for competitions, as well as to network with students during lunch. Here is what they had to say:
“I think what was most striking was the confidence that these students displayed during their Critical Thinking presentations. Students that have been part of programs like JAG will stand out when they come interview for positions, because they will have gone through scenarios where they had to think on the spot and provide some depth of thought around critical questions.”
– Andrew Crask, Indianapolis Market President, Bank of America
“It is very important to get students interested in healthcare and show them the various career possibilities in the industry outside of becoming a nurse or doctor. As a judge in the Career Presentation competition, I noticed that the students’ level of professionalism was impressive. It’s very important to be able to walk up and shake someone’s hand with eye contact.”
– Karen Jenne, Ascension/St. Vincent
“Our new flight academy is trying to help diversify the aviation profession. Having worked with EmployIndy and knowing what the JAG program is about, we thought tabling at the JAG CDC would be a perfect opportunity to show students a career pathway that they weren’t aware of and give them an opportunity to learn more about it. While judging the Entrepreneurship Plan competition, I was impressed by the students’ professionalism and confidence.”
Another exciting part of the day was Kenzie Academy’s announcement that they are offering up to $300,000 in scholarships for JAG students across Indiana. Reps from Kenzie were on site sharing details for interested students to learn more about their accelerated, project-based learning in the in-demand technology field.