Through leadership, we inspire those around us to influence critical outcomes on behalf of Michigan’s young people. This month we would like to highlight the specialists who received the Living Our Values Award for Leadership at this year’s professional development conference. In the nominations submitted for these winners, there was consistent language including dedication, expertise, support, and an exceptional level of care for staff and young people. These two individuals wear many hats including teacher, parent, coach, mentor, advocate and trusted role model. This comment summed it up: They are leaders by nature and they inspire us “to transform the lives of students who deserve the change to be the success we know they can be.” Congratulations to Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) Specialists, Corey Sterling and Cheryl Irvin.
Meet Corey Sterling, Specialist for 11 years at Benton Harbor High School (BHHS)
Why did you become a JMG Specialist?
I became a specialist to give back to my community. It is also the type of class I wish had been available to me when I was in high school.
What inspires you about your job? To equip urban youth with the life skills that help them succeed in college and employment inspires me every day. Recall a favorite memory about being a specialist. Several memories stand out during my time as a specialist; my JMG youth won first place overall at the Career Development Conference in Lansing; taking a group of JMG youth leaders to Washington D.C. for the National Student Leadership Conference; and winning the 2018 Michigan High School Athletic Association State Basketball Championship with 9 JMG students on the team.
What is one of the greatest challenges you face in your job? Making sure the program has enough financial support is a challenge.
What is one of the greatest highlights/joys of your job? Having the opportunity to teach employability and life skills in a non-traditional way and watching youth use those skills to succeed is a highlight.
Why do you think JMG is so important for youth? JMG provides youth with the life skills they need to be successful. Every young person needs a mentor to help them along their journey and they have that in JMG.
Share your hobbies, do you have any pets, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Outside of the classroom I am the head varsity basketball coach at Benton Harbor High School.