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Kokomo High student wins JAG's prestigious Outstanding Senior award

INDIANAPOLIS (March 21, 2022--Parrys Hooks made the most out of her only year participating in Kokomo High School’s Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) program. So much so that she walked away on Friday with the prestigious Outstanding Senior award at JAG’s annual State Career Development Conference in Indianapolis.

JAG’s 14th annual CDC was the culmination of months of regional competitions, which focused on several disciplines critical to employment. More than 150 high school students from around the state advanced to Indianapolis for a chance to earn monetary awards by showcasing the employability skills they have learned through the program.

Students competed in 14 categories, including the top Outstanding Senior award.

After graduation, Parrys plans to attend Ivy Tech Community College in Kokomo to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). She ultimately wants to be a labor and delivery nurse.

Parrys enjoys creative writing, is involved in yearbook and is president of a career association at Kokomo High School. Before joining JAG, however, she struggled with motivation.

“I didn’t want to prepare; I didn’t want to go to college; I didn’t want to do anything,” Parrys said. “JAG helped me realize that I can have a future, and it’s not too late. My JAG class and everyone who’s in JAG, they’re just like my family.”

In her spare time, Parrys volunteers at a food pantry and likes to spend time with family, friends and her dog.

JAG is a state-based, national non-profit organization dedicated to helping high school students of promise who have experienced challenging or traumatic life experiences achieve success through graduation.

JAG Indiana students have received more than $107 million in scholarships over the last four years, have completed over 230,000 hours of service learning in their communities, and boast an average graduation rate of 95%.  

JAG Outstanding Senior

Parrys Hooks receives her Outstanding Senior award from Karrah Herring (left), Chief Equity, Inclusion, and Opportunity Officer for the State of Indiana, and Janelle Duray, JAG's Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President. 


About the Indiana Department of Workforce Development
DWD serves the worker and the employer to ensure workplace success. DWD is committed to innovating and invigorating Indiana’s economic future by providing WorkOne Career Centers, Unemployment Insurance, Labor Market Information, Regional Workforce Strategies and Professional Training. Through these services, DWD is able to develop a premier workforce that enables Indiana employers to flourish and entices businesses from outside our state to relocate to Indiana.

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