Return to Headlines

John Ehret High Duo Named to Jobs for America's Graduates State Board

teacher and students

Pictured from left, John Ehret High teacher Brenda Mendard and students Padheyssa Rodney and Jeanelle Seal

Two John Ehret High students will represent their peers on the state board of a national organization dedicated to helping young people succeed in school and in their careers. Senior Jeanelle Seal and sophomore Padheyssa Rodney have both been elected to the Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) Louisiana State Career Association.

Seal was elected as Vice President of Social Awareness/Community Service. Rodney was elected as Member At Large. The honor earns them an all-expenses paid trip to the National Career Development Conference in Dallas with their teacher and veteran JAG Specialist Brenda Menard. Set for May 5-7, the conference provides an opportunity to participate in general sessions, competitive events, educational workshops, leadership development training, and college and career exploration.

"I'm blessed," said Menard when asked about two of her students earning this recognition and a trip to the national career conference. "The conference will show a world of competition they will have to address, adapt, and deliver. Those are things I know both of them can do."

Seal said she "grew up with JAG," because of the work her grandmother did for young people through the program. Aside from career skills, Seal values JAG's ability to connect her with others to serve the community and build a network that will help her as an entrepreneur. 

"It was something I always wanted to be a part of," said Seal. "I knew what it did from a young age. I loved it. When I had the opportunity to do that here in high school, I jumped."

Rodney credits JAG with making her more focused on making the most of her efforts in the classroom and influence among her peers. Not only has JAG helped her find her voice, it has provided her with a school family.

"When I first met Mrs. Menard, she made me feel welcome," said Rodney. "I knew I could trust her, and that's what JAG is. We build trust with each other."

JAG operates programs in a number of JP schools with the aim of helping young people stay in school through graduation, pursue postsecondary education, and secure entry-level jobs leading to career advancement opportunities. Along with John Ehret High, the program is currently available at Bonnabel High, Higgins High, Truman School, West Jefferson High, and Worley Middle. Students interested in the program should contact a school counselor or administrator. 

Jobs for America’s Graduates-Louisiana is an affiliate of the national JAG program. JAG-LA provides an educational setting that promotes academic and skills attainment, civic responsibility, leadership development, and social awareness that is necessary to become a responsible citizen and productive professional.

Jobs for America’s Graduates helps young people of truly great promise succeed both in school and on-the-job, leading to a productive and rewarding career. JAG is led by a public/private partnership at the national level, comprised of leading Governors, C-Suite Executives among the Fortune 500 and national community leaders. It is organized to support State Affiliates in the high-impact delivery of the JAG Model across middle school, high school, and out-of-school and collegiate young adult populations. JAG is proud to have served over 1.5 million young people since 1980.