The Maine Compass Career Collaborative virtual experience will open to all of Maine’s middle and high school students, free of charge, on Monday, April 26.

GEAR UP Maine and JMG are partnering to create the collaborative, an on-demand career and post-secondary resource for Maine’s students in grades 7 through 12. The site will be universally accessible to all middle school and high school students in Maine.

“This is not a one-time event. The site will always be ‘open’ with on-demand resources to help students develop real-world skills and explore all of the post-secondary and career pathway opportunities that exist in Maine,” said Debbie Gilmer, president of Syntiro, the nonprofit organization that leads Maine’s GEAR UP grant. GEAR UP is a statewide initiative, in collaboration with the University of Maine at Farmington, to support students on pathways to high school graduation and post-secondary education, according to a news release from JMG.

The site will include information about Maine’s public university and community college systems, private schools such as Thomas College, and other programs that support post-secondary education such as the Bridge Academy and the Alfond Scholarship Foundation. It will also provide an ongoing resource for students to learn the wide variety and increasing number of post-secondary credentials offered directly by Maine’s employers such as the E.J. Prescott UP training program.

“We wanted to include the word “Collaborative’ in the title of the Maine Compass Career Collaborative because we are actively seeking partners to join us in this effort. It will launch as soon as students return from spring break, but we will continue to add content in the coming months and it will be free to students,” said Craig Larrabee, CEO and President of JMG.

The collaborative will include a post-secondary exploration hall, an employer engagement experience, financial literacy education, information about how to write a resume and apply for college and jobs, digital literacy resources including how students can be their own brand ambassadors, and additional support such as public speaking and professional dress guides.

Registration for the platform will open on April 26, and links to the collaborative will be posted at jmg.org and gearupme.org.

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