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Empowering Youth: Career Development Conference 2023

On April 21, Youth Solutions hosted the 13th annual Career Development Conference (CDC) at the Lansing Center, welcoming 127 Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) youth to showcase their workplace skills and knowledge through career-based competitions. The theme for this year, "Together we Thrive," inspired youth to visualize their future careers and strive towards robust growth and development. The day consisted of individual and group events, networking with one another and business leaders, a keynote speaker and awards ceremony, creating a truly immersive experience for youth to envision their future careers.

“This event helps you hone in on good life skills, like problem solving, that will help you whether you are going to college or right into a job after high school. All of these competitions help you build on good qualities you can take with you and it’s so cool to have an opportunity like this!” said Cheyenne Holcomb, from the JMG program at Marquette-Alger Technical Middle College.

DeAnthony Martin, another JMG youth from Pershing High School went on to say, “This experience taught me greater professionalism and showed me how far I can go - you can always go further than you think you can!”

Awards were given for five events; JMG Bowl, Creative Problem Solving, Interview Skills, Career Preparation, and JMG Chapter Marketing. Congratulations to this year’s winners!

JMG Bowl

1st Place - Marquette-Alger Technical Middle College

  • Caden LaFayette, Hannah Holman, Lily Swetich

2nd Place - Benton Harbor High School

  • Brianna Spencer Tatyanna Littles, Jaeden Meeks, Jaeden Meeks, Armani Collins, Kamden White

3rd Place - Hartford High School

  • Kaylie Axsom, Johanna Acevedo, Brooke Modro, Jasmine Bennet

Chapter Marketing

1st Place - Windover Warriors, Windover High School - Click here to watch the winning video.

  • Haley Smolinski, Lydia San Miguel, Scott Young, Emerial Beatty, Harlee Tola, Alissa Frost, Jolina Ledesma

2nd Place - Bridge Academy of Southwest Michigan - Click here to watch.

  • Ian Watson, Za’Indya Street, Macinley “Patch” Badgwell, Brooke Triplett, Lindsey Collins, Lamont Hawkins, Mariah Dunn, Jaylen Banister, Zakari Banister, Elijah Williams-Cooper, Owen Hamlet, Saylar Busher, Jasmine Harris, Jason Anderson, James Madden, Cubby Wolf, James Anthony

3rd Place - Together We Can!, Hartford High School - Click here to watch.

  • Grace Weber, Ximena Hernandez, Guimell Hernandez

Interview Skills

1st Place - Savanna Bates, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Southwest Michigan

2nd Place - Arturo Lora Cruz, Hope Academy

3rd Place - DeAnthony Martin, Pershing High School

Career Preparation

1st Place - Kamryn Kyles, Hartford High School

2nd Place - Guimell Hernandez, Hartford High School

3rd Place - Morgan McConnell, Mackinaw Trail Middle School

Creative Problem Solving

1st Place - Benton Harbor High School

  • Nevaeh Stone, Madison Collins, Anijah Dancer, Ashton Sanders, Janiza Wright

2nd Place - West Michigan Works! Muskegon County

  • Xzayvier Horsley, Tayonna Mcquarter

3rd Place - Lansing School District

  • Donnie (Adam) Dominion, Carley (August) Doerr, Elayna DeLine

We couldn't be prouder of each and every one of our participants and the incredible things they continue to achieve. To see more highlights from the CDC, watch our recap video.


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