Note: This page is part of the Governor's News Archive, which holds press releases from January 2009 through September 2011. Since October 2011, recent news can be found in the Newsroom and archived news is available at news.delaware.gov.
May 31, 2011
“Jobs for Delaware Graduates” Expands into Middle Schools
After 32 years in Delaware high schools, program to reach 7th and 8th graders
Governor joins JDG in announcing expansion
DOVER - Governor Markell joined Jobs for Delaware Graduates (JDG) President Susanna Lee in announcing JDG’s expansion into Delaware middle schools throughout the state. The announcement was made to a group of sixty seventh grade students at Central Middle School in Dover (Capital School District), which will be one of the first middle schools to implement the program this fall.
“We want young students learning how they can be successful in high school and after graduation,” said Governor Markell. “By reaching students at a younger age, JDG can help young people identify and overcome any obstacles standing in the way of their success so they can create a better future for themselves. These students are our next generation of Delaware employees. We want them to be as ready as possible for high school, higher education, the military and the world of work.”
The middle school program, called the “Keys Program,” focuses on key elements of youth success, including study skills, organizational skills, communications, decision-making, leadership, character and self development, team-building and career-based learning.
“We know how successful we have been at the high school level,” said Susanna Lee, President of JDG. “It’s time to bring the program to middle schools. Principals and administrators recognize the benefits of having a program like JDG targeting and helping students struggling with teen issues to become successful 9th graders and move forward to high school graduation.”
JDG piloted a middle school program this school year at Milford Central Academy to gauge effectiveness. Because of the support of Delaware’s congressional delegation, JDG is receiving $2M in federal funding, allowing JDG to move programs into Delaware middle schools. Within the next ten days, JDG will select ten middle schools for its program in each of Delaware’s three counties which will begin programs in the fall of 2011.
“To be successful after graduation, students need not only to learn their course curriculum, but they also need to develop practical skills to navigate their post-high-school world,” said Sen. Carper (D-Del). “By exposing them to these resources in middle school, students can begin to fill their toolbox with the knowledge to help them pursue their goals by the time they reach the end of grade 12.”
Also, today, the success of six Delaware high school seniors who are part of the JDG program were honored and the students were presented with new laptops. Fred Green of Christiana High School, C.J. Cepeda of McKean High School, Jon Chen and Darren Warrick of Mt. Pleasant High School , Kym Wright of James H. Groves High School and Tyreka Burton from Brandywine High School received new laptops. Microsoft Corp. is making the donation through Jobs for America's Graduates program after the students shared their inspiring stories of perseverance and success in education at a national board meeting in Delaware last month.
"I am inspired and impressed with these students who showed true courage and persistence to overcome personal challenges in order to graduate from high school," said Sig Behrens, National Board Member of Jobs for America's Graduates and General Manager of U.S. Education for Microsoft Corp. “The Jobs for Delaware Graduates program helped give them a sense of responsibility which in turn fueled their passion to succeed.”
Jobs for Delaware Graduates is a private non-profit corporation whose mission is to enable students to achieve academic, career, personal and social success. JDG started in Delaware high schools 32 years ago under Governor Pete DuPont. The program was the genesis of Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), which is now operating in 32 states. Delaware becomes the 14th state to have a JAG middle school program. This year, Governor Markell became Chair of the Board of Jobs for America’s Graduates.