Stories of Hope: Amiir Johnson

Meet Amiir Johnson, a 17-year old senior at Stratford STEM Magnet High School. A long-time resident of Nashville, Amiir grew up surrounded by poverty and didn’t really find his own direction until he started the Jobs for Tennessee Graduates program.

He says, “For me, JTG has built my confidence toward going out and getting a job. I feel like it has helped me improve my skills, such as talking with other people, how to represent myself in an interview, and work toward getting a job. I didn’t know how to build a resume, or even what a resume was, before I got to JTG. Now I have a full resume and a bunch of added bonuses to present. It lets me know that I can get a job with my resume and knowing what to do in an interview.”

He says his future was uncertain had he not been in the JTG program. He says, “Without JTG, when I graduate, I probably would have no clue what to do. Before JTG, I never had a resume, I didn’t have a job, and I didn’t really have to do anything. But now, it has taught me that I can stand on my own feet and get out there.” Now, Amiir will attend Nashville State for two years upon graduation, and he plans to transfer to either the University of Alabama or Middle Tennessee State University his junior year to study chemical or electrical engineering.

Amiir regrets a lot of his decisions and approach to education his first two years of high school. He didn’t place much emphasis on his education or his future after graduation, citing many times where he skipped school and made choices to run with the wrong crowd and get into trouble. For him, the JTG program, and the influence of his school’s JTG Specialist, Daniel Smith, is solely what refocused his energy, instilled confidence, and has given him hope that he has a future now.

“I know that I have the skills and the confidence to compete with others in a job interview. I’m ready to walk in and present myself in a way that can get me the job I want,“ he says, his eyes beaming with pride.

Amiir believes that all students, especially those from backgrounds of poverty, should have access to JTG to give them a hope and a future. He says, “If all students in every school had access to the JTG program, it would drastically over time decrease the unemployment rate.” A naturally charismatic person, Amiir now has the self-confidence to pursue whatever path he chooses.

JTG is committed to expanding its program to even more schools throughout the state, and it is through generous donations that we are able to do so. Please visit our Connect/Donate page to make a difference in a life like Amiir’s.


By |2017-06-14T20:55:12+00:00June 20th, 2017|Stories of Hope|Comments Off on Stories of Hope: Amiir Johnson

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.