JMG program awarded $250,000 grant

Posted May 26, 2009, at 9:04 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Nellie Mae Education Foundation, the largest philanthropy in New England focusing exclusively on education, has awarded a $250,000 grant to Jobs for Maine’s Graduates to expand JMG’s services to more middle and high school students through high-quality personal development, leadership and other 21st century skills.

“JMG’s creative approach to providing innovative routes to success for students whom the traditional system has failed is something we are glad to support,” Nicholas C. Donohue, president and CEO of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, said in a press release. “The evolution of their work to more directly challenge familiar definitions of schooling is a bold and welcome contribution to education reform. Most importantly and immediately, this work could provide students with opportunities to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary today to become economically self-sufficient lifelong learners.”

Jobs for Maine Graduates is a private nonprofit group that partners with middle and high schools across the state to assist students who have been identified as most likely to disengage from school and not reach their full potential.

Last fall, the Center for Workforce Research & Information at the Maine Department of Labor released a study about the long-term impact of JMG’s programs. According to the study, six years after graduating from high school, students who had been enrolled in a JMG program were making 14 percent more in quarterly earn-ings than all other 22- to 24-year-olds in Maine. During those six years after high school graduation, 42 percent of JMG students had attended a two- or four-year postsecondary education institution.

“The program works, no ifs, ands, or buts about it,” said Susan Gendron, commissioner of Maine’s Department of Education, in the release. “JMG is very successful in positioning these young people to continue their education and to make it in the work force.”

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation provides grants and other support to education programs and intermediary organizations in order to stimulate change in public education systems and ensure that all of New England’s learners are prepared for success.

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