WATERVILLE — Jobs for Maine Grads hosted its 25th annual Career Development Conference at Thomas College, according to a news release from the program.

Better known to the students as CDC, the conference is a day-long celebration that gives seniors, and a few juniors, the chance to show off the college and career readiness skills they have gained throughout the year.

“JMG works with students from grades six all the way through college; giving them the support they need to succeed in post-secondary education and careers,” said Sherrye Haney, JMG manager in charge of CDC, in the release. “Right now only about 31 percent of high school students in Maine go on to earn a college degree. This conference is part of JMG’s College Success Program, which was developed not only to get students ready to enroll in college, but to make sure they have what it takes to stay in school and earn a degree.”

Students spent the day competing against one another in a variety of skills competitions designed to get them ready for life on campus and for careers. The Campus Quest contest had teams of students roaming the quad in search of key locations, such as the Provost’s Office and the library. Students also went head to head in a mock college interview judged by Thomas College’s admissions staff.

“We were so happy to have high school students from all over the state on our college’s campus for the day. You could feel the energy, excitement and potential of these students,” said Thomas College President Laurie Lachance, in the release. “JMG’s Career Development Conference is successful in giving college preparation and exposure to these students. This event helps to get them in the mindset and gives them the confidence that they, too, can go to college and be successful.”

JMG partners with public schools and private businesses to help Maine students succeed on whichever post-secondary path they choose after high school. Hunter’s path is taking him to college in the fall.

JMG is a statewide, private nonprofit working with students who face barriers to education. In partnership with public schools and private businesses, JMG provides 6,500 students a year with the skills and experience they will need to succeed in high school, post-secondary education, and careers. JMG graduates become engaging members of their communities, productive adults in the workforce, and contributors to Maine’s economy

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