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Meet Specialist Terri Karavas

Terri is a Specialist of one of our new programs in partnership with Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! and Institute for Excellence in Education. She began working with JMG youth in the fall of 2020 and works with both in-school and out-of- school youth at Odyssey and Shepherd High Schools in the greater Mt. Pleasant area. We are happy to have Terri’s enthusiasm and passion for youth as part of the JMG team. In her first several months, she is already having a significant impact on the young people she serves.

Why did you become a JMG Specialist? I became a JMG Specialist to be a part of the solution to helping youth overcome barriers that keep them from reaching their goals and realizing their dreams.

What inspires you about your job? In my job, I get to be part of work that is so very needed. My students inspire me every day by their resilience, sincerity, and dreams! I work with professionals who inspire me with their dedication to this calling.

Recall a favorite memory about being a specialist. My favorite memory is watching my student Chelsea answer interview questions to prepare for an upcoming Coffee with a Purpose. Chelsea gave a very powerful perspective of the mental health issues that face our young people. After the interview, Chelsea's mother sent me a message telling me Chelsea's dad listened to her interview and was amazed at her passion, maturity, and perspective. Chelsea's mom thanked me for giving Chelsea this opportunity, and I am just so grateful I was able to be part of this important work.

What is one of the greatest challenges you face in your job? One of the greatest challenges in my job is when I see students who have significant gaps in their learning struggle with grade-level material they do not have the ability to comprehend/apply.

What is one of the greatest highlights/joys of your job? When one of my students tells me they now know they are able to be successful is one of the most important highlights of my job! Another highlight is watching students develop their self-confidence and begin to advocate for themselves. Why do you think JMG is so important for youth? JMG is important for our youth because they need additional people in their life whose mission is to care about, encourage, support, advocate, mentor, and value emerging professionals.

Share your hobbies, do you have any pets, what do you like to do in your spare time? For about 8 years, I have been restoring my historic home, circa 1914. I have three wonderful children, (2 of my children are educators), and three beautiful grandchildren! I am a dedicated Nancy Drew fan~when I was a pre-teen, I wanted to have titian-colored hair like Nancy Drew and drive a roadster!


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