Critical Education Award Will Help More Covey Youth Get Their High School Diplomas

This Program Has Proven Graduation Rates Up to 91 Percent

Nearly 70 percent of our at-risk youth come to Covenant House Alaska without a high school diploma.  These young people – many of whom grew up in failed systems like foster care and the juvenile justice system -- often face some of the greatest challenges to success in adulthood.

Soon, our Covey youth will have a better chance of receiving that high school diploma. Covenant House Alaska was selected among 218 other nonprofits nationwide to teach the innovative JAG high school curriculum – which has proven graduation rates of up to 91 percent!

The JAG model – Jobs for America’s Graduates -- is geared toward youth who are not in school. It provides mentoring, coaching and community-based learning opportunities. It is a “school-to-work transition program” designed to keep students in school through graduation and help them transition into the work place in quality jobs. 

11% of Alaskan teens age 16-19 are not in school or unemployed, according to a 2015 study conducted by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the nonprofit which chose CHA for the prestigious award.  With CHA’s onsite partner -- Nine Star Education and Employment Services -- JAG will provide mentors, teach leadership development, and provide 12 months of post-graduation follow-up and support services for graduates.

“It’s like the ‘Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval’ for nonprofits,” said Alison Kear, CHA executive director, adding that nonprofits must first be invited to apply before being considered for the award. “It takes the best of two organizations (CHA and Nine Star) and strengthens them with a proven, tested curriculum for at-risk youth.”

Funding tied to the program will enable CHA to hire staffers to implement the JAG curriculum.  The Annie E. Casey Foundation is one of the nation’s largest private foundations focused on disadvantaged families and children, especially those who come from failed systems like foster care and the juvenile justice system.