More than 500 seniors from the Jobs for Maine’s Graduates program participated Wednesday, May 4, in JMG’s 19th annual Career Development Conference at the Augusta Civic Center.

JMG students competed in a variety of college and career-readiness contests during the daylong event. Seniors traveled from across the state to display leadership, teambuilding, problem-solving and communication skills. Students represented JMG programs from more than 30 high schools, from as far north as St. John Valley to as far south as Sanford.

“As seniors, we’ve worked really hard all year, writing resumes, working on leadership, communication and team-building skills,” said Gardiner Area High School senior Holly Allen. “CDC is kind of where the rubber hits the road. It’s a chance for us to show we’re ready for whatever path we take after graduation.”  

Along with the competitions, dozens of Maine businesses and colleges were represented at a career fair so students could learn more about career and educational opportunities in Maine.

Dana Connors, president of Maine State Chamber of Commerce, awarded $1,500 college Chamber scholarships to JMG students Cielle Pomerleau, Peter Genica, Patrick Graham and Zach White.

Ira Rosenberg, president of Prime Motor Group, talked with students about his humble beginnings and challenges he has overcome.

“No matter what life throws at you, there are three important letters to remember: P.M.A. They stand for Positive Mental Attitude,” he said. “You may not be able to control everything that happens to you, but you can keep a positive attitude, and always put your best foot forward.”

JMG is a statewide, private nonprofit working with students who face barriers to education. JMG provides 4,000 students a year with the skills and experience they will need to succeed in high school, post-secondary education, and careers.