BCCTC JAG earns awards


Front row, from left: Peyton McMahan, Veronica Gutierrez-Jiminez, Leah Lowe, Brittany DeLawder, Samuel Hamby. Second row: Kevin Nunez, Bradley Dunbar, Brooke Smith, Blake Phillips. Third row: Austin Baker, Roman Tortorici, Vincent Yates. Back row: Spencer Tallie, Miler Reid, Casey Miller-Suchey. -Nancy B. Caffee

Front row, from left: Peyton McMahan, Veronica Gutierrez-Jiminez, Leah Lowe, Brittany DeLawder, Samuel Hamby. Second row: Kevin Nunez, Bradley Dunbar, Brooke Smith, Blake Phillips. Third row: Austin Baker, Roman Tortorici, Vincent Yates. Back row: Spencer Tallie, Miler Reid, Casey Miller-Suchey. -Nancy B. Caffee

The Career Academy program began as the Blount County Focus program in 2005 to address the drop-out rate and offer further service to at-risk students from every Blount County high school. In 2010 the program title was changed to Career Academy, and Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) began to be offered as a career tech elective. JAG is a state-based national non-profit organization dedicated to preventing dropouts among young people who have serious barriers to graduation and/or employment. In more than three decades of operation, JAG has delivered consistent, compelling results – helping over one million young people stay in school through graduation, pursue postsecondary education and secure quality entry-level jobs leading to career advancement opportunities.

The Blount County Career Technical Center’s Career Academy program participated in the Jobs for America’s Graduates district and state conferences this year. At the north district conference in February, the group placed second in Students for Services, and second in Public Speaking with this year’s first ever participant, Blake Phillips, who was given the honor of presenting his speech to the state group. Vincent Yates received fourth place at the district competition in the Decision Making event. At the State JAG Conference in April, the Career Academy’s JAG group participated in five events based on this year’s theme, “The road to success is always under construction.” Out of five events, the BCCTC JAG group placed first in three events: PowerPoint Presentation, Chapter Exhibit, and Chapter Yearbook. Brittany DeLawder, a Locust Fork senior, also received a Chairman’s Recognition Award for outstanding performance and perseverance.