Youth Solutions’ partnerships throughout the state give us the opportunity to help more young people achieve a future beyond imagination. As an organization we have never worked alone and we never will. Networks Northwest, our program partner in Northwestern Michigan, began Jobs for Michigan’s Graduate (JMG) programming in 2014 and has achieved the highly distinguished Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) “5-of-5” award with each graduating class since they began. The “5-of-5” award is given to programs that exceed all five of JAG National’s rigorous performance metrics dedicated to ensuring young people succeed in education and employment.
In addition, in 2021, four Networks Northwest JMG Specialists; Lisa Baldyga, LeAnne Bush, Mike Vandermus, and Kim Benz; received special recognition at the program level, with a “5-of-5 Plus” award; distinguishing them for not only meeting “5 of 5”, but also for meeting or exceeding standards for follow up, model services, and helping their youth complete the FAFSA.
The Networks Northwest team credits their success with youth to their collaboration with each other and to the strong leadership of JMG Manager, Susan Ward, who won Youth Solutions’ first ever JMG Manager of the Year award and was named in “40Under40: Forty Of The Region’s Best And Brightest Under 40,” by the Traverse City Business News.
LeAnne Bush, JMG Assistant Manager at the Wexford-Missaukee Career Tech Center, also credits her youth as helping her achieve success, stating, “To me, JMG means building relationships with students in order to help them succeed and find their passion. Totally a win-win. I can make a difference and have a real purpose.” Congratulations, Networks Northwest!