Saba Khan, Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) alumna from Michigan Works! Southwest, is using the skills she learned in the JMG program to accomplish her dream of becoming a high school math teacher. Her story of overcoming barriers, while helping other youth achieve dreams, is truly inspiring.
Saba spent most of her life in India, coming to the United States to complete high school in 2020. Since English was her second language, she struggled with self-confidence and the ability to communicate effectively. After joining the JMG program and with the help of her specialist, Debra James, she was able to build her confidence and learn valuable life skills to help her succeed.
"After my Specialist introduced me to JMG, I was so happy. She helped me one-on-one, invited me to events, and helped me prepare for my interview skills competition at the Career Development Conference because I had never interviewed for a job before."
Saba became so skilled at communicating and public speaking that she won 1st place in the Interview Skills competition at this year’s Career Development Conference. She even led our 2nd Annual Graduation Celebration put on by the Youth Solutions Youth Advisory Council, a group of emerging leaders who are passionate about Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) programming.
This summer, Saba worked as a teaching assistant for a program called My City, offered by the Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency (KRESA), helping other youth learn valuable skills to help them prepare for their future. Saba’s involvement in the Youth Advisory Council inspired her to get involved in the Youth Voices Program at Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC), a group that helps to improve the college experience for other students.
Saba now works as a pharmacy technician while taking classes at KVCC studying to become a math teacher. Growing up in India, math was a highly regarded subject in school. She was surprised when several of her classmates here in the states didn’t feel the same way. Inspired by her teachers, Saba wants to change the negative stigma around math and make it more fun for her future students. This fall, she is going into her 2nd year of college at KVCC, and upon completion, she will transfer to Western Michigan University to get her teaching certificate.
Saba’s story is the perfect example of what ‘bringing the JMG program full circle’ looks like. We are so proud of the strides she’s made to achieve success, and her dedication to giving back to other youth to help them achieve a future beyond imagination.