More than 100 people, including students, families and supporters, gathered at Oceanside High School Oct. 25 to celebrate the induction of 46 students into this year’s Jobs for Maine's Graduates program.

JMG partners with public education and private businesses to offer results-driven solutions to ensure all Maine students graduate, attain post-secondary credentials, and pursue meaningful careers. These programs serve more than 6,500 students in more than 90 programs in middle and high school, as well as college. At Oceanside High School, JMG is offered as an elective class.

The evening began with Jen Curtis, interim principal of Oceanside High School, commending the students for their professionalism and commitment to themselves and their education. In addition, she expressed gratitude for the partnership between JMG and Oceanside High School. Following Curtis’ remarks, four students took turns sharing about their experiences in JMG thus far.

Maia Miller, a junior and second-year JMG student, said, “The positive, helpful vibe and experience that this program provides to all of its students is something I will carry past high school and into my college years.” Shannon Johnson, a sophomore in her first year of JMG, said, “Many people know me as the ‘girl with the good singing voice.’ Of course that is really cool to be known as, but I want to do something even more with my life and career. I want to do something that will really impact people’s life, and change people's life for the better. I'm not exactly sure what that'll be yet, I believe that that is what this program is for. For figuring out what you want to be, setting your goals, and learning how to achieve those goals.”

The students in the JMG program picked a quotation from Abraham Lincoln for their theme this year, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Keynote speaker Sarah Bickford of MaineHealth echoed the theme in her address: “The great thing about success is that you create it yourself. you have the power to shape your career and the best way to predict your future is to create one!”

She shared about her personal experiences and encouraged students to be the best they could be at whatever they were doing. To end the evening, Mayor Louise MacLellan-Ruf congratulated the students on being proud members of their community and pushing through challenges that arise.

The event was planned and organized by the elected student officers for JMG. For more information about JMG, contact JMG Specialist and Teacher Scott Browning at sbrowning@jmg.org.