DC Trip Leaves an Impression

Happy Monday!  Presidents’ Day is kind of a weird holiday and that’s just the debate over how to spell it!  Presidents, President’s or Presidents’?  (I’m going with the plural possessive since it’s general thought of a day to honor the 45 people who have served/are serving as Commander in Chief).  Can anyone connect dots between this holiday and mattress sales?  Also, schools and banks are closed but most people have to work.  Do you?

I have no problem punching in the clock as I’ll continue to use this forum to share JTG student testimonials from their recent trip to Washington DC.  Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) hosts a National Student Leadership Academy which draws nearly a thousand students from around the country including from its affiliate in Tennessee.  Fairview High School JTG specialist Vickie Parsons in Williamson County always makes it a priority to raise money (about $1,500 per student) to host a a handful of students.  Here’s Fairview High School senior Emma Lavendar (she is 3rd from the left in the picture above) reflecting on her experience:

My trip to Washington D.C. for the JAG Leadership conference was an unbelievable experience.  I learned so many things about leadership and how to be successful in life.  I went with my school and a couple other students in my grade and we stayed at a hotel with most of the other JAG groups.  I had doubts about what it would be like, but overall I had the best time of my life.  I loved staying in a hotel with everyone else because I created so many friendships with other teenagers that inspire to be successful in life.  Other than the amazing lessons we learned and activities we did, we had a lot of free time sightseeing and to tour the big city.  The trip overall was one of my favorite memories of high school and I encourage everybody to go.  I made so many unforgettable memories and lifelong relationships that I will cherish for years.

Emma Lavender
Fairview H.S. ’17

I’m so proud of Emma and her classmates for how they represented JTG on this trip.  All the students were well behaved and respectful.  Take a bow JTG specialist Vickie Parsons for creating this everlasting memory.  Another example of how JTG improves young lives forever.


By |2017-02-20T15:28:20+00:00February 20th, 2017|Life Lessons|11 Comments

About the Author:

Call it John Dwyer 2.0 After 29 years as a TV Broadcaster, Dwyer is President & CEO of Jobs for Tennessee Graduates (JTG). JTG, an affiliate of Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), is a non-profit organization dedicated to stewarding at-risk high school students toward graduation with follow through toward post-secondary education and/or job opportunities. Associated with JAG since 1981, JTG consistently obtains a graduation rate above 90-percent with a full-time job rate at nearly 70-percent. The most vulnerable, socioeconomically challenged young men and women, graduate with self-esteem with the realization and skill set to achieve success after high school. Does it get much better than that? Dwyer, is a resident of the Nashville area since 1996. He was sports director and/or a news anchor at TV stations in Nashville, Jacksonville, Florida; Ft. Myers, FL and his hometown of South Bend, Indiana. He is a 10-time Mid-South Region Emmy Award winner, along with winning numerous other awards. He is also a former Heisman Trophy voter. John is a 1985 graduate of Butler University, where he majored in Radio/TV while minoring in journalism. An avid running (or “plodder” as he likes to call himself), Dwyer runs in Nashville’s annual marathon. (Current tally: 7 Full, 10 Half). He accomplished a goal, once thought out of reach, be qualifying and running in the Boston Marathon in 2009. Married to Lynley, Dwyer resides in East Nashville with his wife and dog Lola. Dwyer served on the Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee board from 2006-2012, and was board chairman for three years.


  1. LisaGrect August 12, 2020 at 3:05 pm
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JTG on the Frontlines for Equality

Supporting and Empowering our Communities of Color

COVID-19 Update

JAG and JTG Statement in Response to COVID-19

 As we are all feeling, COVID-19 has shifted how the world operates in a way that is unprecedented for our generation, and Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) and Jobs for Tennessee Graduates (JTG), one of 39 JAG state affiliates, are no exception. The impact of the coronavirus and the immediate danger it presents has closed our education system, directly affecting students and their families. This is especially detrimental to JTG students, who often look to their JTG Specialists and classmates for steadiness and security in their lives.

We also recognize that our students and their families are disproportionately affected by the closure of restaurants, stores, bars, and other service-industry places of work. These jobs often provide the entry-level opportunities our students need to enter the workforce. A difficult environment is likely to continue for some time, so we are in the process to reposition our training and support to make the best case for our JTG students to be considered for employment.

At a time when we must social distance ourselves to protect each other, the thousands of JTG students we serve need us more than ever.  We are responding to and encouraged by the requests from many JTG Specialists to access online learning modules and platforms provided by JAG educational partners like the Skills to Succeed Academy, EverFi, and Tallo. We are excited to see the interest in the JAG Genius and the use of virtual connectivity and the online sense of community – something we all need in these times.

Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) and Jobs for Tennessee Graduates (JTG) recognize we need to modify the way we provide support and deliver competencies to our students during this time of uncertainty. In response to the way business and education are adapting (in real time) to COVID-19,  JAG National is establishing new protocols and processes to ensure full, virtual engagement with our young people to ensure they have the competencies they need to meet the very competitive job market ahead. That is why JAG is providing the immediate recommendations below that are of highest priority, which impact the day-to-day lives of our students and Specialists. Like our world right now, please know that these are in real-time and subject to change.


Moving forward, we will have ongoing recommendations that will be built into new practices that will serve as both short- and long-term solutions to continue JAG’s data-driven model. This will help us remain accountable to our students, our partners, funders, and each other.