JMG: Helping students make future plans

As the 11 students walk into Mr. Stinchcomb’s JMG(Jobs for Maine Graduates) room in the back of the library he asks them how their day is going. The class talks to each other about what they’re doing, before getting started with class work.

They have been discussing livable wages this week. Students researched what a livable wage is for those living in York County and how much one would have to earn to meet their financial demands.

Today, October 14, they watch a video clip called ‘Waging a Living’ about a man living in San Francisco. It explores his job, income, his struggle to pay his bills and having no health insurance, the possibility of his union striking for better pay and health benefits and the risk involved. Stinchcomb said, “the students reaction was one of surprise, ‘Wow, this is the reality for some’ , ‘I don’t want to have those struggles’ and the take away is the importance of establishing a career path/goals.”

Mr. Stinchcomb often has the class think about things they want to do and jobs they might like. He also educates students on how to make good life choices. At the end of class Mr. Stinchcomb gives his students free-time to talk and wishes them well until next class.

According to, Mr. Stinchcomb, 

“JMG was created to help improve the graduation rates for high schools in the state of Maine, and to better prepare students for a rewarding career.”

JMG is working for Maine students as shown by the following statistics posted on the JMG website. The four year graduation rate for students in the JMG program is consistently above 90%. 96% of students who enroll in JMG as underclassmen, return to the JMG program the following year. 85% of JMG students are either employed, in the military, or continuing their education immediately following graduation.

Currently 53 students are enrolled in JMG at TA.

Currently 53 students are enrolled in JMG at TA.

Part of the reason why JMG has success is that the curriculm is totally focused on real life issues and also, Since it is Mr.Stinchcomb can be less traditional in his approach.The room doesn’t have desks instead students sit around tables. This is just one of the reasons it feels more informal. The class is fun for the students and is a good way for them to meet new people. The class often goes out to new places to explore possible jobs.

According to the JMG website, “JMG’s mission is to identify students who face barriers to education, and to guide each one on to a successful path toward continued education, a meaningful career, and productive adulthood.” Going out with the class to find jobs is a step toward a productive adulthood.

Job placement companies also come in and help connect students with local businesses. When asked about JMG, students had different reasons for liking the class. Steven Fields thinks JMG is a good class to explore, meet new people and connect with his class. Matt Cleary likes the class because, “it is good to learn new things and be in front of a large audience in class.” Frank thinks it is a good class to relax and ease your day.  In addition to this, JMG has students thinking about what they want to do after high school and working towards it.

Five out of seven students in the class stated that they wanted to go to college after high school, and almost all of them also said they would like to get a job at some point. Fields said, “I want to go to SMCC and study to be a sports analyst”.

While Eric Profenno said he, “wants to go to college to be a criminal justice major,and play hockey as well.” A number of Students expressed a desire to travel and work in the food, fishing and industrial industries.

JMG was designed to help students continue their education and find meaningful jobs. Statistics show that JMG is accomplishing its goal with consistently high graduation, enrollment, employment and returning students rates. Additionally, JMG is proving to be successful at TA by getting students to start planning for their future, and connecting with others.These students get to participate in a variety of in-class and outdoor activities, which teach them new things,and ultimately prepare them for a changing world.

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Educating students for more than 200 years.