AP NEWS

Pee Dee students win awards from JAG program

May 6, 2019

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Students from seven schools in Florence, Darlington and Marion counties took home awards from statewide competition on April 11 in the 14th annual Jobs for America’s Graduates-South Carolina (JAG-SC) Career Development Conference, which drew more than 500 students from 22 schools.

The 2019 Executive Director’s Award for demonstrating achievement and commitment through JAG went to South Florence High School’s Ni’Ray Nelson, Timmonsville High School’s Deasia Woods, Darlington High School’s Stephanie Witherspoon, Marion High School’s Terek Reaves and Creek Bridge High School’s Miracle Rowell.

Wilson High School’s Ty’Ree Matthews took first place in public speaking.

A first-place award in Theme Poster went to Creek Bridge High School’s Kierra Craawford for her original poem on “The JAG Advantage.”

The South Florence High School team received second place for its Career Association Chapter display for its visual depiction of the 2019 conference theme of “The JAG Advantage” as well as third place in the Career Association Chapter Manual category for its visual record of the school’s local JAG activities.

The Darlington County Public Service Pitch Day team – called “Small but Mighty” by one of the judges – talked about handing out lollypops to students observed doing good deeds for others as part of a presentation that put it in second place in the Public Service Pitch category. The team talked about working with other school clubs to gather and distribute shoes and socks, organize voter registration drives and help victims of cancer and domestic violence.

Mullins High School students won two awards. Ja’Vontaye Gagum was awarded second place in the Writing Skills Event for the Essay Topic “The JAG Advantage.” Tara Brockington took third place in Interviewing Skills.

JAG-SC is the Palmetto State’s nationally recognized component of a 33-state, not-for-profit effort with core principles that have contributed to what Forbes Magazine describes as “eye-popping results.”

The theme of the 2019 conference was “The JAG Advantage,” where formerly at-risk and/or disadvantaged youth displayed through their speeches, writings, and artwork the talents and skills they have learned in JAG-SC, a state-based organization dedicated to assisting students with barriers to obtain their diploma and secure a good job and/or advance to higher educational opportunities. South Carolina’s program has been awarded the “5 of 5” Award for eight consecutive years, meaning it has exceeded five national standards in terms of graduation, school placement, positive outcomes, job placement and full-time jobs.

The JAG Advantage delivers learner-centered instruction to ensure youth achieve their fullest potential by focusing on academic success and career readiness skills. The program is administered by the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.