After high school, students have a choice of whether to continue their studies at a two-year or four-year college or to enter the workforce. For some students at J.Z. George, they’ll be more equipped once graduating.
Students in the Jobs for Mississippi program held an initiation and installation program on Thursday, Nov. 29 in the school’s gymnasium.
Jobs for Mississippi Graduates is a part of Jobs for American Graduates which provides students with leadership skills, identifies career goals, develop community involvement and enhances social awareness. Through JMG students can sharpen their leadership skills and employment skills in and out of the classroom.
During the ceremony, Mayor Carolyn McAdams from Greenwood spoke to the Job for Mississippi students. Superintendent Billy Joe Ferguson administered the oath of membership, and Mayor Pam Lee of Carrollton Pam Lee installed the new officers. The service concluded with a candle lighting ceremony.
Stacy Weatherby said the program is through a grant from Jobs for Mississippi Graduates, Inc. out of Jackson.
“It helps students to prepare for the real world. It prepares them if they want to go to college or into the workforce. It teaches workplace skill, we take them on college tours, we teach them how to do resumes, how to fill out applications,” Weatherby said.
She said the class also teaches what to ask or what not to ask during an interview and how to dress. “Our students have to be sworn into the career association, that’s why we held the ‘I and I’ ceremony.”
Weatherby said guest speakers will come in and speak to the class.
“I may call you and come in and tell them what made you choose your career. It’s motivational for them,” she said.
Weatherby said the class has been at J.Z. George for four years and before she took over the class, Nancy Fortenberry was over Jobs for Mississippi.
“I think she was over it for two or three years before I took over, and it’s my first year with the class,” she said.
Weatherby said she sees the difference in her students after being in the class.
“For some, it’s very beneficial. Some of my students had never did a resume, they have never completed applications and never been on an interview,” she said.
She said it also teaches promptness because to remain in the class students have to attend and have to be on time.
She said one of her former students is in college at Mississippi Delta Community College in Moorhead. “We still have to follow them for a year,” she said. “If they don’t go to college and go into the workforce, we have to follow up and monitor them for a year.”
She said during the summer students worked at the school this summer and were paid for their services. “They did things like painting, cleaning the school, they also did community work as well. Some in the class have outside jobs as well,” Weatherby said.
Weatherby said her students were chosen for the class and she didn’t know who her students would be until school began. She said students also receive their grades by participating in the discussion when students come to class.
“We also teach CPR, ServSafe, what to look for when going into a restaurant and what a rating of A, B, and C mean for the restaurants,” she said. “It’s a great program for the students. It will be beneficial for them learn in class. They will be able to survive in the real world and utilize those skills.”