The “Student of the Year” award is given to a student who demonstrates leadership skills throughout the program year, and who is an outstanding asset to the JMG community. From the eleven nominations received, the board chose two inspirational youth to receive the award.


Marquette-Alger Technical Middle College
Upward Peninsula Michigan Works!

2020 Youth of the Year Kyra

Kyra Gibson is in her third year of JMG at Marquette-Alger Technical Middle College (MATMC) and currently serves as MATMC’s first ever Career Association President. While enrolled in JMG, Kyra successfully completed her first college semester, co-planned a fundraiser to help fellow students with travel costs to their college courses, and became a Certified Nursing Assistant. She is now pursuing an online Associates of Applied Science in Surgical Technology at Northern Michigan University while working full-time on the front lines during COVID-19. Kyra’s JMG Specialist, Meagan Staton stated in her nomination “Kyra exemplifies what it means to be not just a leader, but a servant leader. Her career and education goals are not just too better her life, but that of her family. All her actions are to better her fellow students and leave the JMG program better than she found it.”


Kalamazoo County Out of School
Michigan Works! Southwest

2020 Youth of the Year Cheyenne

Cheyenne’s nomination begins, “It is an honor and a privilege to write this nomination for Cheyenne. Without a doubt, Cheyenne epitomizes the very best of student leadership, resilience and determination.” When Cheyenne entered JMG in 2019, she was a single mom who had dropped out of high school and was unemployed. Upon completion of her GED, she began a paid internship and enrolled in an Early Childhood Education and Apprenticeship Program and was ultimately offered a permanent position. She has been very active in the JMG program as a mentor to others, as a leader in all community service projects and as a motivational peer. She did this while taking care of her daughter, attending class, and working. Cheyenne was nominated by her JMG Specialist, Debra James who also stated, “My goal as a JMG specialist is to inspire young people, however in the case of Ms. Cheyenne, I am the one who has been inspired”


The “Alumni of the Year” award is given to a former JMG student who was a leader in their JMG school or program, is an outstanding asset to the JMG community, and someone who has had a positive outcome such as employment, military, or postsecondary education at time of nomination.


Ingham County Jail
Capital Area Michigan Works!

2020 Alumni of the Year Juwan

Juwan Trainor is enrolled in the Ingham County Jail program in partnership with Capital Area Michigan Works! and Peckham, Inc. Juwan has overcome many personal and health-related barriers to work toward and achieve his goals to provide a better life for himself and his family. While incarcerated, Juwan obtained his GED and earned a trustee position within the jail that came with a lot of responsibility. Upon release, he immediately secured full time employment. Most recently, he successfully passed his Department of Transportation physical and drug test and is working on his commercial drivers license. Aside from improving his personal growth, he continues to mentor those that are still incarcerated as they work to overcome their barriers. In his acceptance video he explained, “JMG helped me get through all those fears I had. My next step in life is to keep moving forward. I can’t be stopped right now; I’m going to keep going.”.