CASES is pleased to share the below press release about our Jobs for America’s Graduates New York (JAG NY) education and employment program for youth and young adults.
Brooklyn, NY – December 8, 2020 – AT&T has provided a generous $1 million contribution to Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG). In the last four decades, JAG has helped over 1.4M vulnerable youth overcome significant economic, emotional, and academic challenges. Today, the same populations JAG was founded to support have been hit the earliest and hardest by the educational and economic impacts of the pandemic. This compounds the ongoing challenges of discrimination and inequality many have faced, further underscoring the critical nature of the JAG program and the services it provides.
This support is part of AT&T’s $10 million commitment  to create economic opportunities and foster upward mobility for Black and underserved communities who face long-standing social inequities and higher unemployment, all of which are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
JAG serves more than 76,000 vulnerable young people each year, including more than 100 in New York. JAG participants have consistently achieved outstanding results. This includes the Class of 2019, who after a full 12-months of JAG follow-up services, achieved a 95.7% graduation rate, far above the 84% average national graduation rate. This is especially compelling because JAG serves the lowest performing 20-40% of the high school population. JAG graduates are also 230% more likely to be employed full-time compared to their peers and twice as likely to go to college. In June of 2020, JAG graduates had an unemployment rate three times less (11%) than all 18-19 year olds (33%), which is the age demographic most negatively impacted by layoffs.
Thanks to AT&T’s generous donation, Jobs for America’s Graduates New York (JAG NY) is one of the 14 JAG Affiliates to receive a grant (up to $15,000 each) to sustain their JAG programs amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and continue providing services to the most vulnerable students in their state. These grants will ensure that over 1,000 JAG participants continue receiving the critical support of their Trauma-Informed JAG Specialist, including training in JAG’s 37 Employability Skills Competencies
The Center for Alternative Sentencing & Employment Services (CASES) is currently running the JAG NY program in three boroughs – Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens – with plans to expand to the Bronx. The JAG NY program experienced funding disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the $15,000 AT&T grant will ensure program services in Brooklyn can continue during this difficult time.
During the COVID-19 crisis, JAG NY Specialists have continuously served their students, offering uninterrupted JAG NY programming, as well as providing groceries, cleaning supplies and other necessities for JAG NY students in need. Even amid the ongoing pandemic, JAG NY is achieving remarkable outcomes around graduation rates, full-time job placements, etc.
“AT&T recognizes the essential work that Jobs for America’s Graduates is doing – and the outstanding results they’re achieving, even amid an unprecedented pandemic. These much-needed funds will help more youth disproportionately impacted by COVID to succeed in school, jobs, and life,” said Ken Smith, President of JAG. “We thank AT&T for their long-time commitment as a partner in our efforts to support our country’s most vulnerable young people and help build a high-quality workforce nationwide.”
In addition to JAG Affiliate support, AT&T’s contribution will support the JAG National office to enhance its JAG Model virtual services, allowing JAG Affiliate staff and Specialists across the country to access digital trainings, student content, best practices and resources.
“JAG works tirelessly to help ensure vulnerable youth have opportunities for a strong education, a good-paying job, and a high quality of life,” said Stephanie Tyler, Pacific States president at AT&T. “JAG plays a critical role in helping our young people overcome numerous and significant challenges to succeed at school, work and beyond, and their work is all the more vital during this unprecedented time.”
“CASES is grateful to AT&T for its support of our Brooklyn JAG NY program during what continues to be a very challenging time for nonprofit organizations and for the young people and families we serve,” said Sophia Morel, CASES’ Senior Director of Education, Career & Enrichment Services. “The young people in JAG NY routinely demonstrate remarkable resilience, talent, and drive, and CASES depends on partners like AT&T to ensure these youth have access to meaningful pathways to success including during crises like the pandemic.”
The JAG program includes classroom instruction, competency-based project- based learning, adult mentoring, summer employment training, student-led leadership development, job and postsecondary education placement services, as well as 12-months of follow-up services after high school graduation. Due to COVID-19 and resulting school closures, JAG has pivoted to a virtual model to continue providing uninterrupted services to its participants.
AT&T’s support of JAG is part of AT&T Aspire , the company’s signature philanthropic initiative. With a financial commitment of $600 million since 2008, AT&T has leveraged technology, relationships, and social innovation to help give people – regardless of age, gender, race, or socioeconomic status – the opportunity to succeed. With this new contribution, AT&T’s support of JAG and local affiliates is projected to have served over 100,000 youth since 2013.
About Jobs for America’s Graduates New York (JAG NY)
JAG NY is a program of the Center for Alternative Sentencing & Employment Services (CASES). The mission of CASES is to increase public safety through innovative services that reduce crime and incarceration, improve behavioral health, promote recovery and rehabilitation, and create opportunities for success in the community. Every year, CASES programs help thousands of young people impacted by the criminal legal system to avoid incarceration while remaining in the community, addressing challenges, and building skills and credentials. CASES initiated the first JAG program in New York and is currently providing JAG in three boroughs – Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens — with plans to expand to the Bronx.
About Jobs for America’s Graduates
The JAG National Network has a footprint across 1,450 communities in 39 states and impacts more than 76,000 youth annually. JAG graduates consistently achieve outstanding results, including a 95.7% graduation rate. JAG graduates are 230% more likely to be employed full-time compared to their peers, and twice as likely to go to college.
About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T
Our society doesn’t work if it doesn’t work equally for all. We recognize that inequalities are pervasive, and we have a role to play in helping to address them. That’s why we’re committed to advancing education, creating opportunities, strengthening communities and improving lives, particularly among historically underserved populations. We have a long history of investing in projects that promote academic and economic achievement and addressing community needs that promote social justice and racial equality. With a financial commitment of $600 million through AT&T Aspire since 2008, AT&T has leveraged technology, relationships and social innovation to help give people – regardless of age, gender, race or socioeconomic status – the opportunity to succeed.