Port Barre High School celebrated its JAG members last week with an initiation ceremony and inducted new officers for the 2023-2024 School Year. Members of the community came out to support the program participants as JAG Specialist Jessica Quebedeaux welcomed the new members.
The Initiation and Installation Ceremony is an annual event held for the officers and new members participating in the JAG program. Port Barre Chief of Police Deon Boudreaux was the guest speaker for the event. In his opening remarks he commended the students for their dedication to their future success by choosing to be a part of a wonderful program.
Other special guests who attended the ceremony included Mr. Johnny Ardoin, Mayor of Port Barre, Mr. Milton Batiste, St. Landry Parish Schools Superintendent, Shelly Fontenot with St. Landry Bank Business Development, the President/CEO of Catalyst Bank, Joseph Zanco and Ms. Gloria Sonnier from Southwest Loan Company. Immediately following the induction and initiation ceremony they stuck around to meet and greet each of the officers and network with the students.
What is JAG?
The JAG, Jobs for America’s Graduates program is a unique program consisting of both a class portion and career association club. JAG focuses on providing support to students that targets leadership and employability excellence.
Through partnerships with local businesses and organizations JAG Specialist Jessica Quebedeaux encourages her students to truly gain an understanding of the landscape of the working world through direct connections and partnerships. These partnerships allow students to gain real world understanding of different career paths before making a decision about what is right for them.
“We partner this with a mindset of civil engagement, providing students with ample opportunities for community involvement and service projects.”
Through their partnership with their local law enforcement agency, JAG program participants assisted in many community service activities last year including the monthly food pantry and the quarterly senior citizen luncheon.
“As a student-lead program, all of our projects are decided on and planned by the the students under my guidance. This allows them to take true ownership and build upon their intrinsic talents and skills.”
Mrs. Quebedeaux’s focus this year is to grow the program farther into the community. Her hope is to continue these projects from last year and expand on them to give the students even more opportunities.
This Thursday, St. Landry Bank and Trust Company will be hosting some of the PBHS JAG Seniors in a job shadowing program, 365 to Rich, which will introduce the students to careers in the banking industry.