CARIBOU, Maine — Caribou High School Jobs for Maine’s Graduates (JMG) students are still reeling from excitement over their experience at this year’s JMG state competition.
Twelve CHS students competed at the 26th annual JMG Career Development Conference on March 26 at Thomas College in Waterville, and once again had a successful year. The Vikings won eight trophies, two scholarships and the state award for their contribution to the JMG state philanthropy project.
The conference is JMG’s largest student event, with more than 650 juniors and seniors from across Maine attending. Participants focus on year-long achievements in community service and career readiness, showcase their achievements in competitive events, and earn recognition in categories like public speaking, group challenges, interviews, resume writing, decision making and marketplace design.
According to Dr. ValerieAnn Waldemarson, the high school’s JMG specialist, “JMG does an incredible job making sure that all the students are prepared and valued throughout their events. It is one of the highlights of the year and one that sticks with students for years afterward.”
Students who participated were seniors Monique Nadeau, Emily Michaud, Caragan Haney, Dylan Marrero, Emily Austin, Brant Trombley, Brittany Brissette, Jasmine Olson and Amelia Roy, along with juniors Cheyenne Cormier, Jacob Doebener and Mason Smith.
Nadeau, an officer in the JMG Career Association, said, “My CDC experience was amazing I loved being able to meet new people and speak with them about our Career Association. I was able to get out of my comfort zone with the events that I was in. It allowed me to practice on my public speaking, which will benefit me in everyday life. It was an honor being there.”
Waldemarson said the conference is always an exciting time when she can observe her students in action putting their best foot forward and putting all the skills they have learned all year to the test. It is a time of celebration and comradery.
“My students enjoy meeting other JMG students from across the state,” she said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for students to network with the businesses there as well as other students and other JMG specialists.”
Waldemarson said she is grateful for the hundreds of volunteers who help make this event possible.
“Without our partners, we could not do the work we do,” she said. “JMG is blessed to have the support of large corporations, small business, schools, colleges, and communities. This year we were blessed to have Casey Bouchard from Pines Health Services and Cary Medical Center there supporting the students and celebrating their hard work and efforts.”
JMG senior Caragan Haney said, “CDC was one of the best learning experiences I’ve ever participated in. I learned the importance of professionalism in the workforce. This conference helped me grow personally and helped me strengthen my confidence and skills. JMG has taught me how to be a leader and a team player and this event definitely challenged me. I had the greatest time participating.”
Emily Michaud, a senior and a JMG officer, said, “CDC was a great opportunity to network with businesses and get your name out there for possible future employers. I was also able meet students from all over the state of Maine and compete against them in real life skill competitions like public speaking.”
JMG students have always been committed to helping other kids. Together, students from programs all across the state raised $10,417 for The Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers kids camp program, Waldemarson added.