Crossett High School’s Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) program was recently awarded a grant of $34,000 that will assist in funding the group’s activities.

JAG is a class for high school seniors in which they learn job and work skills. It is connected to the national JAG organization, which is dedicated to “preventing dropouts among young people who have serious barriers to graduation and/or employment.” Its mission is to help students graduate from high school and pursue further education and prepare them for future careers.

Through the program at Crossett High School, students can become eligible to leave the school during the final class period of the day to work a job that they earn credit for.

The grant that CHS JAG was awarded is funded through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF. The Arkansas TANF program was established to keep families together. It intends to accomplish the mission by providing family leaders with job skills, assistance, and resources.

CHS JAG specialist Kristi Clanton-McDuff applied for the grant in order to sponsor a speaker for the school’s annual Career Day, but also to allow students to become interns. With the funding that the group received from the grant, students will be able to serve as interns for businesses in the community. This partnership will be of no cost to businesses.

“Money from the grant will help pay for students’ salaries,” Clanton-McDuff said. She said she was very excited about having received the grant.

“I think it will open up opportunities for my JAG students,” she said.

The partnership will also develop a connection between JAG and the small businesses that may not be able to pay full-time workers.

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