JMG presents to Houlton Rotary Club

Jon A. McLaughlin, Houlton Rotarian, Special to The County
3 years ago

HOULTON, Maine — The Houlton Rotary Club started 2021’s guest speaker program with Jason Little, master specialist with the JMG program at the Hodgdon Middle/High School. Little briefed local Rotarians at their weekly Zoom meeting on Jan. 4, about the history and work of the JMG program locally.

JMG partners with Maine’s public middle and high schools, community colleges, and the university system to help students reach their fullest potential. JMG strengthens Maine’s workforce and improves the economy by providing students with the guidance, skills, and opportunities they need to succeed in their careers and education. JMG serves more than 10,000 students in communities throughout all of Maine’s 16 counties.

Statewide there are 140 JMG programs, with seven sites in Aroostook County including Hodgdon Middle/High and Houlton Middle/High. JMG is part of the national organization, JAG (Jobs for America’s Graduates). JAG has 36 state partners and since 1980 has served 1.4 million students.

JMG partners with public education and private businesses to offer results-driven solutions to ensure all Maine students graduate, attain post-secondary credentials, and pursue meaningful careers.

JMG’s programs are student centered and results driven. The high school core program focuses on career attainment and growth, leadership, and personal skills. Both include a hands-on community service component, teaching students about the importance of giving back. 

According to Little, the results are amazing — six years after graduating high school a JMG student typically earns 14 percent more than students of the same age. JMG students also consistently have a 4-year graduation rate of 90 percent or better, surpassing the state average of 87 percent.

In addition, JMG grads are engaged more than many students, with 85 percent of them, one year after high school graduation, involved in continued education, working, the military, or a combination of these involvements.

The Hodgdon JMG program was started in 1995. Students are involved in many self-improvement programs such as JMG leadership and professional events, business tours for the students, job shadowing experiences, various community service opportunities, and guest speakers often joining the classes.

In addition, Hodgdon students have organized many events of their own. Among these are the  Annual Veterans Day Breakfast & Ceremony, Winter Ball, 50/50 Raffle at home basketball games,  Annual Career Association Officer Leadership & Planning Day, and the Junior High Team Initiative Day.

Born and raised  locally, Little is a graduate of Hodgdon High School and an alumnus of the JMG program. He graduated from Kingswood University with a degree in youth ministry. He and his wife, Janet, who teaches second grade in Hodgdon, have four children, and live in Hodgdon.  He has been teaching at the Hodgdon Middle/High School since 2016.

For more information on JMG please contact the JMG central office in Augusta at (207) 620-7180 or go to the JMG website at