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Career Development Conference Honors YAC Scholarship and Notable Alumni Award Winners

At our 13th annual Career Development Conference this year, we had the privilege of presenting several new awards, including the first-ever Youth Solutions Youth Advisory Council (YAC) Scholarship. The YAC members spearheaded the scholarship as a way to pay it forward and give back to other Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) youth. Through fundraising and advocacy efforts, they raised $500 to be awarded as a scholarship to a youth who is attending post-secondary education or pursuing a career credential. We are thrilled to announce that Jada Willis, from Benton Harbor, Michigan is the deserving recipient of the $500 scholarship.

Jada is a Junior at Morgan State University, is maintaining a 4.0 GPA and is majoring in sociology. Her aspirations include helping others by exploring the external factors that impact one’s physical, mental, and emotional health. A dedicated and ambitious leader, Jada’s academic excellence is impressive. She was on the Dean’s list while studying at Lake Michigan College and is a member of the Tau Sigma National Honor Society and the Morgan State University Choir. Jada’s mother instilled in her the mantra, “the sky's the limit,” and she plans to continue to excel and make her mother proud.

Furthermore, we had the honor of recognizing the outstanding achievements of two of our JMG alumni through the Notable Alumni Award. This award recognizes JMG alumni who have exemplified the values and mission of Youth Solutions and the JMG program. We are proud to announce Nolan Henson and Mani Mesh as the 2023 Notable Alumni of the Year.

Nolan Henson, a 2018 graduate of Flint Southwestern Classical Academy, is the Chair of the YAC and an exceptional leader. In addition to attending Central Michigan University full-time, Nolan has managed to serve as a Youth Solutions intern, speak at Youth Solutions Board of Directors meetings, be a panelist on Coffee with a Purpose, participate in the Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) National Student Leadership Academy in Washington, D.C., and serve as the youngest panelist on the JAG National Alumni Engagement panel. Nolan is an excellent representation of JMG and we are proud to honor him as a 2023 Notable Alumni.

Mani Mesh, a 2020 JMG alumnus from Windover High School, is also a YAC member and actively participates in the Youth Solutions Alumni Network. He has demonstrated significant growth during his time with JMG and beyond, attending the JAG National Student Leadership Academy and representing Michigan by sharing ideas and best practices with other state programs. Mani has also been a panelist on Coffee with a Purpose, discussing youth mental health, and presented to a JMG class at his alma mater about the opportunities available to youth after graduation. His dedication to JMG and his community is a testament to his character, and we are proud to call him one of our own and a 2023 Notable Alumni.

We are grateful for the opportunity to honor exceptional JMG youth and alumni like Jada Willis, Nolan Henson, and Mani Mesh, who embody the values and mission of Youth Solutions and the JMG program, and we look forward to seeing their continued success in the future.


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