DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Iowa Jobs for American Graduates, or iJAG, held workshops at the Putnam Museum Wednesday, October 24, 2018 for nearly 300 students.
Students learned what coordinators call "employability" skills, such as leadership and communication. Students also received tips on how to prepare for a job interview or how to write their first resume.
The iJAG program is designed to help mentor students who are at a higher risk of dropping out of school.
President and CEO, Laurie Phelan, said students in the program are not learning these skills in their classrooms or at home.
"Especially the kids we work with - they have a lot of challenges... so in iJAG that's our job, " Phelan said. "To take every single child that has a struggle or challenge and help them learn these skills so that they can have an advantage to be able to get to that next level and find their own way there."
Nyla Noble is a senior at Dubuque Senior High School. She said iJAG feels like an educational family that teaches her how to better herself.
"IJAG has given me the basic support I was lacking. It gave me the extra things that I needed that I wasn't actually getting taught, personally, at school and I wasn't getting taught at home," Noble said. "It's like another support system where they're always there for you."
Phelan said she is happy to see students leave the conference feeling empowered and that they can make a difference in their community.
In the program's 19 year history, iJAG has mentored more than 18,000 students.