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Youth Advisory Council


The Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is a group of emerging leaders who are passionate about Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) programming and want to help carry on the purpose of inspiring and connecting youth to achieve a future beyond imagination. Becoming a member of the Youth Advisory Council means being a leader, supporter, and advocate of the JMG program and fellow JMG students and friends. 

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Nolan Henson
Youth Advisory Council Chairperson

I believe today is no better time to equip young people with the skills to lead for tomorrow. I'm looking forward to assessing the Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates and Youth Solutions community needs and developing ideas to help meet those needs and help create even more success stories.

Southwestern Classical Academy

Natasha Terrell

I believe that JMG is the reason I have become who I am today. I joined the council to share the knowledge that I have learned in the program with others and to give all the young people around the state of Michigan access to this program.

Gwinn High School

While growing up, I made my share of mistakes. I want to help other youth to not make the same mistakes whether in school or in life. YAC has given me the ability to share my story with other youth so they don’t have to learn those lessons the hard way. 

Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation


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Jakya Smith

Pershing High School

JMG opened up opportunities for me and gave me an idea of what my future could look like. It helped me become more outspoken and stand up for the things I believe in. My goal is to open up a nonprofit to provide mental health support for local teens in my community.

Mani Mesh

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Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates is a great program and thanks to JMG, I believe there is always a way to make things even better. I joined the Youth Advisory Council because I want to continue to improve the program and to help young people in Michigan remove barriers and learn skills that will help them be successful in their lives beyond high school.

Windover High School


GST Michigan Works!

My passion is to help people, even if that means just making them smile! Because of the YAC I have been able to help Michigan’s youth to overcome their personal barriers and gain skills they need to be successful.

Christian Dunn

Sereta Fager

I joined the YAC to improve my experience and skill set as a mentor, with the hope that I can develop a stronger sense of self confidence and leadership. I recognize this program as an opportunity that I might not have again, and I am excited to see all the ways in which I can grow and learn from being involved. One of my favorite aspects of mentoring is creating bonds with people, and I hope to have that opportunity in the YAC as well.

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Northwestern Michigan College

Eliana (El) Reid

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Being a leader is difficult, but it is only made easier through exposure to the professional environment, and practice among my fellow students. I believe that through the YAC, I can build a foundation of skills that will help me in my future career. Leadership skills will help me stand out in my workplace, and hopefully better the working experience for my colleagues. I hope to gain a sound understanding of just how valuable a good leader is, and with enough hard work, I could be one myself.

Northwest Ed Career Tech Center (ALE)

Madison Collins

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I joined the YAC because I hope to gain leadership skills that I can pass down to my younger siblings and the kids that I work with at my job. I am passionate about the opportunity to give back to other youth through mentorship.

Benton Harbor High School

Kayla Wittkop

I joined the YAC in hopes to gain more confidence in being a leader. I also hope to gain the ability to coach and mentor people. I hope to improve my career prospects and learn to communicate more effectively. I hope to gain a lot more from this leadership opportunity and help give back to other youth in the JMG program.

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Northwestern Michigan College

Jocelynne Thomson

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I joined the YAC to become more prepared for the world after high school, and learn  communication and advertising skills I'll need to be successful in my future career path. I also want to learn leadership skills and meet new people who are also passionate about JMG.

Pellston (ALE)

Ayanna Mendieta


Being a part of JMG has given me the opportunity to better myself professionally.  JMG has impacted my life by providing me with resources that are beneficial for my future. I plan to continue networking and building a supportive foundation by being involved with YAC. 

Michigan Works! West Central

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Congratulations to our 2023 YAC Scholarship Winner!

Jada Willis

JMG Workforce Pathways

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The YAC Takes on the

JAG NSLA in Washington D.C.

This December, eight YAC members were selected from the state of Michigan to attend Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG)'s National Student Leadership Academy (NSLA) in Washington D.C. The NSLA is a capstone leadership experience for youth leaders providing unique experiences through experiential learning, real-world applicability, and networking. 

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YAC Chair Represents JMG at NSLA

Nolan was also one of five alumni chosen to speak during an employer engagement alumni panel during JAG’s NSLA opening lunch. Nolan gave fantastic advice to youth about how to get noticed in the job market and excel in their chosen career path.

Nolan also had the honor of speaking at the 40th Anniversary JAG Gala and was invited to attend the JAG National Board meeting.

What We Do

  • 3 Coffee with a Purpose Panelists

  • 10 Legislative Meetings

  • 1 Board of Directors presentation

  • JMG Alumni Logo created

  • Plan and implemented the first annual JMG Graduation Celebration

Become a YAC Member

Be a Leader


  • Attend bi-weekly meetings with fellow council members and Youth Solutions staff

  • Participate and/or volunteer in events and activities throughout the year

  • Be an advocate for Youth Solutions and a positive representation of the JMG Program



  • Network with other JMG leaders statewide

  • Professional development opportunity and resume builder

  • Increase skills in leadership, interpersonal relationships, decision-making, and public speaking

  • Plan the annual JMG Graduation Celebration

  • Work closely with Youth Solutions staff on special projects

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