Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) and AgCareers.com partner to share the excitement of agribusiness careers with talented post-secondary students. This relationship has lead to sponsorship of the fourth annual essay contest. Cameron Clement’s winning essay rewards him with a trip to attend the JAG National Student Leadership Conference which will be held in Washington D.C. in November.
This one-of-a-kind opportunity will allow Cameron, a sophomore at Terrebonne High School in Houma, Louisiana, to attend many career building and life skills workshops, network with other students and tour the nation’s capital. “I’m shocked; I’ve always wanted to go to Washington, D.C. and I’m really excited about it,” said Clement.
Clement’s essay on ‘Agriculture: A Lasting Impact’ received the highest marks out of entries from across the United States. For winning the essay contest, Clement will receive an all expense paid trip to this year’s JAG annual student conference which begins November 16.
“I never really thought about how much agriculture impacts our lives until my teacher asked us to write about it,” shared Clement. “I realized that without agriculture, specifically sugarcane farming, people in Houma, Louisiana would have a tough existence,” Clement wrote in his essay. Read a copy of his full essay here.
Lisa Evans Boudreaux, Terrebonne High School JAG Specialist, asked students in her JAG class to write about agriculture for the contest. “We are an inner city school, so most of our students do not have first-hand knowledge of agriculture, but they are used to seeing it since the city is surrounded by sugarcane fields,” said Evans Boudreaux.
“We work on essay writing skills, and invite guest speakers into our classroom every couple weeks,” added Evans Boudreaux. Bennett Joffrion, Extension Agent from the LSUAgCtr, was one of those guest speakers in their classroom prior to the contest. “He told the class about the progress being made in creating fuel from sugarcane,” said Clement.
JAG is a national non-profit organization that serves young people with barriers to success and therefore may put the student ‘at-risk’ for graduating high school or transitioning from high school into an entry level job that leads to a career. JAG and their state affiliates have been one of the most successful state-level strategies for tackling high dropout rates, low academic performance, youth unemployment and other critical issues related to ‘at-risk’ youth.
Clement started with the JAG program this fall. He is taking a class at Terrebonne High School that is part of his state-level JAG program, The Donna Contois Louisiana Jobs for America’s Graduates. “JAG is helping me look into my future and determine what I really want to do,” said Clement. Clement would like to play football and major in sports medicine in college.
AgCareers.com has worked with JAG for the past five years and has identified youth involved with a JAG program as a great untapped resource for talent into the agribusiness industry, specifically but not limited to, the many skilled labor positions that businesses sometimes find difficult to fill. JAG is not specific to the agriculture industry; however there are students that do have an agriculture background or tie. The partnership between JAG and AgCareers.com as well as other agribusiness supporters has allowed for additional promotion of careers in agriculture and the wealth of opportunities available to them, thus building an excellent pipeline of talent for the agriculture industry. To learn more about the AgCareers.com and JAG essay contest, click here.