Jobs for Nevada’s Graduates (J4NG), a Nevada statewide education-based nonprofit organization that aims for all students to graduate high school college and career ready, recently announced Maria Jose Gatti as the new board chair.
As a first-generation immigrant, Gatti was born in Ecuador and moved to the United States when she was 15. Early on, she had a passion for giving back to her community and has been involved with nonprofit work in some way since the start of her career. Shortly after J4NG was established in Nevada in 2014, former Gov. Brian Sandoval nominated Gatti to serve as a member on the board. Gatti has been actively involved in the organization ever since and most recently served as the vice chair of the board before accepting her new position as board chair.
“J4NG is excited to announce Maria Jose Gatti as the new board chair, a true activist for championing data informed, outcomes-driven initiatives like J4NG that effectively help youth to graduate and find great career pathways,” said J4NG Executive Director Dr. Rene Cantu. “Maria will bring fresh oversight and strong strategic leadership to J4NG, and lead the organization’s growth across the state and ensure all students in Nevada are on pathways to success.”
J4NG provides intensive academic and social emotional support to high school students ensuring they graduate successfully and connect with career and college opportunities that fit their skills, needs and interests. J4NG continues providing a safety and support net for up to two years after graduation from professionally trained J4NG specialists to ensure students succeed in school and careers. Gatti resonates with the organization’s mission for all students to graduate high school college and career ready, reflecting on her own experience as a student and a parent, and recognizes that there are many different avenues youth can take to find success after high school.
“J4NG doesn’t just help students graduate, they provide guidance to real career opportunities beyond high school and the two-year follow up period is what makes a big difference,” said Gatti. “Students have that support from their J4NG specialists during the critical years following graduation to ensure they are staying on track to bright futures. As the new board chair, I will continue working with the executive team towards the goal of expanding the program so that all students in Nevada have access to a J4NG program in their school.”
Gatti is the Executive Director of Community Engagement for MGM Resorts International, which is one of Nevada’s largest employers in the state and a longtime partner of J4NG, by providing career, internship and apprenticeship opportunities to students in Southern Nevada. Jobs for Nevada’s Graduates currently serves more than 3,300 students in 60 schools across the state. Part of the national organization, Jobs for America’s Graduate (JAG), J4NG was created by the state of Nevada to help Nevada’s most historically underserved students to graduate and find a career pathway.
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