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Meet Nolan Henson

JMG Alumnus Class of 2018 at Flint Southwestern Classical Academy

What’re you doing now? Did you go to college, a trade school, or into the military? If so, where?

I am a 4th-year student at Central Michigan University. I am majoring in Public and Nonprofit Administration and Sociology. I am pursuing a minor in leadership and two undergraduate certificates in Public Policy Analysis. I belong to two scholarship programs: the Leader Advancement Scholars and the Multicultural Advancement Scholars. Lastly, I am an Inclusion Assistant, a paraprofessional staff member. Through this position, I can support students on campus, educate residents on equity and justice, and connect students to resources.

How did JMG help you prepare for life after high school?

Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) created a space for me to explore colleges and careers. Setting aside that time helped me find my career interest. My JMG specialist took the time to get to know us and understand what our class was interested in and took that into consideration when planning field trips and college visits. Additionally, JMG prepared me for interviews. In the class, we practiced mock interviews and researched soft skills.

How did the JMG program impact your life?

During my senior year of high school, my JMG specialist encouraged me to focus on my goals for the future. At that time, my goal was to acquire as many scholarships as possible to fund my college education at Central Michigan University. My teacher helped me gain access to a working computer and with hard work and determination, I was able to acquire more than 8+ scholarships totaling over $30,000. Though this was not a traditional plan, JMG valued my goal and success! I am now in my 4th year at Central Michigan University!

What did JMG ignite in you?

JMG ignited my leadership skills in the classroom. While in the JMG class I was offered the opportunity to be a part of our JMG class Executive Board. This opportunity allowed me to develop skills in event planning, arranging volunteer events, and setting up fundraisers. Seeing the products of these projects allowed me to embrace the beauty of leadership.

What is your favorite memory from your time in JMG?

My favorite memory from my time in JMG was the 2018 Career Development Conference (CDC), where I placed 3rd in the interview competition. The Career Development Conference (CDC) is Youth Solutions’ annual event where we have the opportunity to showcase the skills we’ve learned throughout the year in the JMG program. This event highlights workplace skills and knowledge, such as marketing, creative problem solving, and interview skills. Through different events, I was able to hear from other JMG leaders across the state and learn from their experiences. This allowed me to see the impact the JMG program has on leadership development.

What would you say is your biggest accomplishment since graduation?

My biggest accomplishment since graduating has been being a mentor to lower-level students. This has been an accomplishment because most of my mentees have marginalized identities that make college much harder. I enjoy being able to share my experiences, community resources, and campus resources to help ease their college experience. I was able to mentor students through the Inclusion Assistant position, as Leader Advancement Scholar, and Leadership Safari Guide.

If you could give someone thinking about joining JMG one piece of advice, what would it be?

I would ask them to consider this as an opportunity to acquire more resources. JMG supports their students as they design their journey of success. JMG is a program that adds to your journey, it only takes your participation.

Share your hobbies, do you have any pets, what do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time, I like to hang out with friends. I like to watch TV shows like Steven Universe, Adventure Time, and Regular Show.


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