Unkindest Cut of All

I know my mother loves me.  I just know it.  In fact I’m driving up north to see her as soon as I finish this blog entry and truly believe she will greet me with a hug and kiss.  She’s 85-years young and recovering from a broken foot.  Bones that mature aren’t in any hurry to mend.

I know she love me.  However in searching for a TBT (Throw Back Thursday) photo for Facebook I came across this photo.  1st grade?  That’s my best guess.  I don’t recall the circumstances in which I lost my two front teeth.  What is striking to me is the bangs.  Mom cut my hair up until about the 6th grade.  The obligatory “bowl” cut.  I always hated it but what can a kiddo do?  What baffles me is the fact my mother cut my bangs, stepped back and must have muttered, “That’s good enough.”  No mother.  That’s not good enough.  That’s not even in the neighborhood of good enough.  Good enough doesn’t live here.  Good enough?  They resemble the stripe on Charlie Brown’s sweater!  Only not as good because at least that design has a consistent pattern.

I love my mother.  She had the harder job than my father (a car peddler) in raising four children.  I suspect the morning she cut my bangs before the school picture, my two older sisters were scurrying to get ready for school and my younger brother was a newborn being restless.  No plate twirler had anything on my mom’s balancing act.  So I will let go of the utter disbelief I felt when I pulled the photo from by keepsake box the other day.  It’s a reminder that she had a full load with a six-member family.

JTG students face several barriers to graduation.  They have serious challenges and JTG specialists help those students to believe in themselves, find their passion, guiding them toward high school graduation and a meaningful and productive adulthood.

My early barriers were pale in comparison.
Hair grows.
Front teeth come back.

I love you mom.

(Car is running… I will be back Monday.  Have a great and safe weekend.)

By |2017-03-10T21:38:01+00:00March 9th, 2017|Life Lessons, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Unkindest Cut of All

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.

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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.