GALLERY: Red Level, Straughn compete at JAG district conference

Published 9:15 am Thursday, February 2, 2023

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Red Level School and Straughn High School students participated in the National Career Association Jobs for Alabama Graduates’ South District Career Development Conference on Monday, Jan. 30, in Prattville.

There were a total of 18 students from both schools who competed in the following various events: business plan, career preparation, employability skills, financial literacy, NCA knowledge bowl, prepared speaking, and a project-based learning showcase.

Straughn students competed in seven of the eight events and placed in four of those events. The business plan team of Hayden Blair, Orrin Douglas, Hallie Goodman, and Mallory Hall and project-based learning showcase teams of Harleigh Dixon, Kyera Harris, Shaylee Harrison, and Cameron Wambles earned first place for the second consecutive year. Sylvia Worley finished in fourth place for the financial literacy event. Emily Carroll, Jaina Hatcher, Airiana Mayo, and Drayden Whitten finished in fourth place for the creative-decision making event.

“I am so proud of my students for the hard work, time, and energy they put in to preparing for competition. My students may think we’re just preparing for competition, but in reality, we’re learning important life skills such as teamwork, effective communication, appropriate dress and behavior, public speaking, staying calm under pressure, not giving up when something gets hard, and the list goes on,” Straughn High School JAG Specialist Kaci Perry said.

Perry called it both a joy and a privilege to have a daily opportunity of working with her students.

“A lot of my JAG students have multiple barriers that sometimes stand in the way of them reaching their full potential, so it’s really special when they are able to overcome those barriers, be successful, and achieve their goals. I can encourage and lift up my students every day, but that is no comparison to the pride that fills a students’ heart when they hear their name called to the stage for an award. As a specialist, it’s truly a magical moment.”

Red Level students competed in three events and placed in one. Maci Cross competed in the employability skills event and earned first place. Kenzie Barnes competed in the financial literacy event. Kaitlyn Beverly, Summer Beverly, Liz Cross, and Kayley Peebles competed in the creative-decision making event.

“I am very proud of this great group of young ladies. They worked hard to prepare for competition and represented Red Level well. It was both a challenging and fun experience for them all. We are looking forward to supporting Maci as she continues on to the state level,” Red Level JAG Specialist Krystie Lord said.

“From the warm welcome to meeting new friends, to the delicious lunch provided, the NCA staff went above and beyond in making this a memorable experience for all who attended. I participated in the Creative Decision Making group event with three of my friends, and we had an amazing time,” Peebles said.

The competitive events students participated in are as follows:

• “Business plan” is a team event. Students must write a 10-page business plan describing a small business the team wants to develop and give an oral presentation between 7 and 10 minutes presenting the proposed business plan. The judges serve as potential investors.

• “Career preparation” is an individual event. Students identify, research, and present on a career of interest. They are required to create a 10-slide presentation about the career and give an oral presentation between 7 and 10 minutes at competition.

• “Employability skills” is an individual event. Students must write a resume and a cover letter for a job in which they meet the requirements and submit those prior to competition. At competition, they participate in a face-to-face employment interview for that position.

• “Financial literacy” is an individual event. Students complete a 50-question written exam that covers topics such as practical money skills, basic budgeting skills, credit card basics, debit card basics, identity and financial protection, prepaid card basics, credit score control, money management and living independently, retirement basics and financial life events.

• “NCA knowledge bowl” is a team event. Teams consisting of three or four members compete in multiple rounds by giving appropriate response to items presented by a moderator in a ‘buzzer style’ round.

• “Prepared speaking” is an individual event. Students develop a speech related to the topic (How has Jobs for America’s Graduates supported you in looking towards and preparing for the future?). At competition, students give an oral presentation of the written speech.

• “Project-based learning showcase” is a team event. Students choose a project developed at their school or in their community during the current membership year. At competition, they give a presentation between 5 and 7 minutes emphasizing how project-based learning has positively impacted chapter activities and enhanced learning in the classroom.

Due to their finishes, 14 students placed high enough to advance to the state competition Tuesday, March 7, in Birmingham. They will compete for a chance to attend the National Career Development Conference from April 19-22, in Orlando.

Straughn had nine students in four events advance to the National CDC in Dallas last year. The school brought home top 10 finishes in the business plan and project-based learning showcase events.

For more information call Red Level School at 334-469-5315 or Straughn High School at 334-222-2511.