NH JAG Career Development Awards 2021

Each year NH JAG students have an opportunity to participate in a statewide Career Development Conference providing an opportunity to practice their skills in a supportive yet competitive format.

The Career Development Conference is linked to the Jobs for America’s Graduates competencies and provides soon-to-be graduates with an opportunity to showcase their skills through competition.  Sadly, the 33rd annual event was cancelled due to Covid-19 but many students were able to participate in leadership and community service projects and deserve to be recognized for their personal achievement, leadership, and commitment.


NH JAG Student Leadership Awards for 2021: 

Ariana Norman, Manchester Memorial High School

 Ariana is both motivated to succeed and through her willingness to adapt and overcome challenges has motivated others. Her work ethic and positive attitude is always on display whether she is at her job (she works full-time!) or achieving “great” grades as a senior at Manchester Memorial high school. She plans to attend SNHU after graduation. We cannot wait to see what the future holds for Ariana! We know she will do well!

Rebacca Smas, Woodsville High School

Becca is a hardworking student who has been committed to the Woodsville JAG program, taking on Career Association leadership roles each of her 3 years with the program. She goes above and beyond to help her fellow classmates, setting a great example through her work ethic and great attitude. Becca has demonstrated resiliency and a good heart towards others.  

Community Service Project Awards

  • 1st Place Trophy: Woodsville High School – “Pantry Pack Program”
  • 2nd Place: Laconia High School – “Caring Crafts for Kids”
  • 3rd Place: Manchester School of Technology – “The Issue of Food Insecurity”


  • Elijah Pinette – Berlin HS 
  • Alyssa Delafontaine – Berlin HS                                
  • Megan Riff – Berlin HS                                
  • Nicole Reynolds – Berlin HS                    
  • Julieenne Provencher – Berlin HS                    
  • Savannah Wells – Concord OSY                          
  • Chantel McMillan – MST
  • Alexandria Ismail – MST                            
  • Ariana Norman – MMHS                                    
  • Bradley Hendrickson – Woodsville HS                        
  • Hayley Perkins – Woodsville HS


BHS JAG students work with AMC to improve Mt. Jasper Trail

For the 10th straight summer, NH JAG students are working with Appalachian Mtn Club to create trails on Mount Jasper in Berlin.  This summer they are installing a staircase near the summit!

Thanks to the Berlin Daily Sun for the story:  BHS JAG & AMC

We’re excited to announce our Sanderson-Stephen Scholarship winners of 2020!  Congratulations…

NH JAG’s Kelly Poitras of Woodsville High School is heading to Liberty University. Kelly is working at Shaw’s this summer and enjoying time with family and friends before starting her college career. We know you will do well! Best of luck, Kelly!

Rebeka Esperance is a recent graduate of NH JAG’s LNA program.  Rebeka currently works for Genesis Healthcare – Pleasant View Center and is enrolled to start college at NHTI this fall. We wish Rebeka all the best as she works toward her degree in nursing. You are a Healthcare Hero!

Jacob Bancroft is a recent graduate of Laconia High School who received a scholarship and will be attending Lakes Region Community College this fall for Psychology.  He is currently working at Misty Harbor and plans to transfer to Plymouth State University to complete his bachelors and masters degrees.  Good luck Jacob!

NH JAG received several awards at the JAG Virtual National Training Seminar held July 14-16.

These national awards go to programs and specialists who have gone above and beyond during the previous program year.

Meeting all “5” outcomes for the 2019 graduating class
• Class of 2019 5of5 State Award:  NH Jobs for America’s Graduates
• Class of 2019 5of5 Program Award:  Woodsville HS
• Class of 2019 5of5 Program Award:  Littleton HS

Specialist recognition
• Outstanding Specialist Award:  Jill Nichols
• Outstanding Specialist Award:  Stacey Venne
• High Performer Award:  Nicole Brady

Congratulations to everyone!!

The work NH JAG specialists are doing to support their students is more important now than ever before. We want to recognize and congratulate our winning specialists:

Nicole Brady, our Laconia High School Specialist received the High Performer Award. Nicole’s strong commitment and enthusiasm really makes the Laconia program shine! Thank you for all you do!

Stacey Venne, our LNA Program Specialist received the Outstanding Specialist award from national JAG. Thank you for all you do to encourage and assist our emerging Healthcare Heroes!

Woodsville High School Specialist, Jill Nichols received an Outstanding Specialist award from the national JAG organization during the “Virtual” National Training Seminar. Thank you for all you do, Jill!

What Happens To Kids When Every Year Is A Gap Year?

This Forbes article vividly highlights what our JAG students and Specialists are navigating during this time and the critical work JAG is doing across the country.

14th Annual New Hampshire Jobs for America’s Graduates Leadership Awards Breakfast


MANCHESTER, NH – Governor Chris Sununu praised not only the award recipients at the 14th Annual New Hampshire Jobs for America’s Graduates (NH-JAG) Leadership Awards Breakfast Tuesday at The Derryfield Restaurant in Manchester, but also the NH-JAG students, encouraging them to take advantage of the great NH economy and all that the NH-JAG program provides.

“You have so much opportunity now.  Grab a hold of it,” said Governor Sununu.  “And make sure to go find students in your community and tell them of your success.  We want twice as many programs, in twice as many schools, in twice as many communities.”

The people and companies recognized for their support of youth and giving back to the community shared their praise for NH-JAG as well.  “I see more growth in students in JAG than any other program,” said Raymond High School Principal Steve Woodward.  The Raymond School District was one of the honorees.  For 32 years, NH-JAG has successfully served over 18,500 young people in New Hampshire.

“JAG is so important for young students to learn the essentials of school and life,” said Robert “Bobby” Stephen, one of the people recognized for his leadership and commitment to progress and opportunity for young people across the state.  Stephen was on the NH-JAG Board of Directors for over 20 years and raised tens of thousands of dollars to support youth.

Also honored at the event was the Walmart Distribution Center in recognition of its true spirit of giving through partnerships and commitments that support workforce development opportunities in the Granite State, and NH-JAG alum Jason Gurung, who spent 15 years of his life as a refugee in Nepal before coming to the United States in 2008.  He is now a corrections officer at the NH State Prison and is pursuing his degree in Criminal Justice at the New Hampshire Technical Institute.

Perhaps NH-JAG alum Adrianna Escabi put the importance of the program and its celebration best when she said, “Without JAG and the JAG Scholarship, I would not have had the opportunity to be where I am today, working as an EMT.  I plan to continue my training and go back to school to become a paramedic in the future.  Thank you to NH-JAG and to my JAG teacher, Courtney, for the amazing opportunities I have been given.  I am very thankful that you saw potential in me.”

The program saw the strong support of Hannaford as the Leadership Sponsor. AT & T and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care were each event sponsors, and Northeast Delta Dental was a Supporting Sponsor.  Friend Sponsors included Associated Builders & Contractors, Manchester Community College, CCA Global Partners, Severino Trucking and The Bobby Stephen Fund for Education.


New Hampshire Jobs for America’s Graduates announces $175,500 support from AT&T

NH-JAG announced $175,500 in contributions from AT&T over the past eighteen months to support under served high school students in New Hampshire as they prepare for college and a career.

The announcement and a check presentation took place during the NH-JAG Annual Leadership Awards Breakfast held at the Derryfield Restaurant in Manchester.


“NH-JAG is passionate about and recognizes the importance of supporting young people on their journey toward adulthood. Together with partners such as AT&T, we are changing lives every day,” said NH-JAG Executive Director Janet Arnett. “Thank you AT&T for your continued support of the JAG Advantage in New Hampshire.”

The AT&T contribution has supported and will continue to support several NH-JAG programs and initiatives that offer project-based learning activities and rewarding career exploration experiences to high school students. NH-JAG is currently serving 465 students in 11 programs statewide.

“AT&T has a long history of investing in programs that create learning opportunities, promote student success and economic achievement and address community needs at a hyper-local level, and NH-JAG is a prime example of that,” said Owen Smith, President, AT&T New Hampshire. “The efforts at NH-JAG provide impactful resources for New Hampshire’s youth, and we are very proud to continue our support as they engage more local students.”

Through partnerships with schools, employers and communities, NH-JAG provides disadvantaged, underserved students with a comprehensive school-to-career program. NH-JAG raises student aspirations and instills workplace values. NH-JAG seeks to broaden not only the outlook of its participants, but also the capacity of New Hampshire schools and communities to assist graduates with successful school-to-adult role transitions.


The Tillotson Fund supports a partnership between the Jobs for America’s Graduates program in Berlin and the Appalachian Mountain Club that gives students meaningful, paid summer employment, skill-building work in environmental stewardship and exposure to careers in conservation and land management. This year’s program brought students from Mount Jasper to Great Glen Trails, the White Mountain National Forest, and the summit of Mount Washington. “It’s wonderful,” said 16-year-old Julianna Willey of Berlin. “All the work is really fun. I’m learning a lot all the time.” During the school year, JAG students learn employability skills, receive career guidance and are supported in their academic efforts.

Students garner life lessons on the trail

Jobs for America’s Graduates and the Appalachian Mountain Club have partnered up to offer Berlin students meaningful, paid summer employment, skill-building work in environmental stewardship, and exposure to careers in conservation and land management

By Meghan McCarthy McPhaul, Network for Good Contributor  |  August 15, 2019

Despite the muggy heat of the late-July day, the blackflies still swarming the woods of Berlin, and the hard day’s work ahead, 16-year-old Julianna Willey is full of enthusiasm. She speaks in the lingo of an experienced trail-builder — of “laying a crush” and “making good tread” and learning to “fly” buckets with the grip hoist.

“It’s wonderful,” Willey says. “All the work is really fun. I’m learning a lot all the time.”

Willey and six other Berlin High School students make up the Teen Trail Crew, a NH-JAG summer youth program. NH-JAG — Jobs for America’s Graduates — started in 1987 with a focus on improving academic standing, decreasing drop-out rates, and preparing students for life after high school.

During the school year, JAG students learn employability skills, receive career guidance, and are supported in their academic efforts. Summer employment is an important component of the JAG program, and that’s where the Teen Trail Crew comes in. A collaboration between NH-JAG and the Appalachian Mountain Club, with grant support from the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the trail crew offers meaningful, paid summer employment, skill-building work in environmental stewardship, and exposure to careers in conservation and land management.

“This program does a great job of helping young people discover their own strengths — and showing them some of the really exciting outdoor career possibilities that the North Country has to offer,” said Kirsten Scobie, director of the Tillotson Funds. “We are thrilled to be able to support it.”

The Berlin NH-JAG program, founded almost two decades ago, is one of 11 throughout the state. Berlin JAG first partnered with AMC in 2011, working with students for two weeks to establish a new trail on Mount Jasper, which rises in steep cliff faces to a forested dome just behind the high school. The crew continues to improve and maintain that trail each year.

The NH-JAG/AMC partnership has grown from a two-week program to a full-summer, seven-week program. This year’s program brought students from Mount Jasper to Great Glen Trails, the White Mountain National Forest, and the summit of Mount Washington.

“By partnering with an organization like AMC, which understands and respects the mission of NH-JAG and the population of youth served, we are offering these young people so much more than just a paycheck,” said Janet Arnett, executive director for NH-JAG.

“The region’s history and economic health hinge in part on local youths’ engagement with, and understanding of, the opportunities of the local economy,” Arnett said. “This AMC/NH-JAG collaboration provides a great opportunity to expose students to some future career options while making a meaningful contribution to their community.”

Under the guidance of two AMC professional trail crew leaders, the students work together to build new trails, smooth out overused or damaged sections, and complete complex tasks like building stone steps along paths.

“None of this is fluff work,” said Alex DeLucia, Trails Volunteer Programs Manager for the AMC. “These students are doing professional-quality work.”

The trail crew starts the summer at Mount Jasper, where students learn the basics of trail-building, how to use the tools, and the value of teamwork. They also see that their work can make a difference close to home: Passing hikers thank the students for their work on the trail, and physical education classes use the trail during the school year. The Mount Jasper trail is also now included in the AMC’s White Mountain Guide, the most comprehensive trail guide for hikers in the region.

“We select projects that are close to the high school, on public lands, and provide meaningful support to partnering land managers or significantly impact communities,” said DeLucia. “The students are exposed to the world of conservation and recreation management. They learn about career opportunities at the AMC, National Forest, state parks, land trusts, and more. Trail work helps develop problem-solving skills, patience, teamwork, perseverance, work ethic, and more that will help them in their future work and life goals.”

The group spent a week this summer exploring potential future employment opportunities. They drove the Mount Washington Auto Road, observed Forest Service and professional AMC trail crews at work in the alpine zone, toured the Mount Washington Observatory and visited AMC’s Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, meeting with representatives from each department, from guest services to campsite caretakers to adventure guides.

Most importantly, these students are gaining a more thorough understanding of what their community has to offer beyond high school — and what they may offer to their community.

NH JAG received a $19,000 grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation to provide paid summer employment for youth in Berlin

Thanks to the generosity and support from the NH Charitable Foundation, NH JAG has again partnered with AMC to deliver a customized summer Teen Trail Crew experience for teenagers in Berlin, NH.  The project provides meaningful paid summer employment, skill-building service work in environmental stewardship along with exposure to careers in conservation and land management.

The trail crew began work on Mt Jasper to maintain established non-motorized recreational trails.

The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation is New Hampshire’s statewide community foundation, founded in 1962 by and for the people of New Hampshire.  the Foundation manages a growing collection of more than 1,800 funds created by generous individuals, families and businesses, and awards nearly $40 million in grants and scholarships every year.  The Foundation works with generous and visionary citizens to maximize the power of their giving, supports great work happening in our communities and leads and collaborates on high-impact initiatives.  For more information visit or call 603-225-6641.