March 16, 2022
Sioux Falls, SD — With support from The Wellmark Foundation, more than 100 middle and high school students from across the state were provided an opportunity to learn more about careers in high-demand fields, like health care, during the Jobs for America’s Graduates —South Dakota (JAG-SD) Career Development Conference on March 15.
The Wellmark Foundation awarded JAG-SD $15,400 to assist with their leadership development and career development conferences. Students from Lyman, Todd County, Sioux Falls Roosevelt, Bennett County, Andes Central, and Wagner middle and high schools attended the 2022 conference.
“We are proud to support JAG-SD by investing in programming that helps to increase graduation rates for young people of great promise, exposes them to high-demand health care occupations and enables them to know they can have a career in health care,” said Mary Lawyer, The Wellmark Foundation executive director. “Working to improve the social determinants of health — conditions in the places people are born, live, learn, work and play that affect a wide range of health and quality of life risks and outcomes — is a priority for the Foundation.”
In addition to attending conferences, JAG students collaborate on projects, hold leadership roles, complete class assignments, and participate in several community engagement activities focusing on career development, job attainment, job success, basic and personal skills, and leadership and self-development. Several students competed at the statewide level during the conference in the areas of employability, financial literacy, prepared speaking, project-based learning and more.
“JAG helps our young people succeed both in school and on-the-job, leading them to productive and rewarding careers,” said Beth Schneider, JAG-SD state director. “Our partnership with The Wellmark Foundation will help expose students to health care careers that we hope will have a long-term impact on access to and quality of health care for all South Dakotans."