The true impact of JMG can be best shared through our alumni stories.
Danielle Provost's speech to 900 students, staff, and volunteers at JMG's 2018 Career Development Conference:
Good morning, and thank you all for attending this year’s JMG conference. My name is Danielle Daisy Provost and I am honored to be speaking to you today. I am currently in my last semester of my senior year here at Thomas and have just come back from working with the Iraq and Afghan Veterans of America down in Washington D.C. It is sort of an exchange program through a partnership between Thomas and the Washington Center. It has been an amazing opportunity to practice politics first hand. However I would not have been able to make it to this program had I not had help from JMG.
I went to Houlton high school, where I had the pleasure of being introduced to Mrs. Butler, a marvelous JMG Specialist. She guided me through my junior and senior years of high school and kept tabs on me here at Thomas. Mrs. Butler has been an outstanding woman in my life. Not only has she told me the blunt truth since I have met her, but she’s given me practical advice when I needed it the most. She helped me with figure out financial aid for college, and in my daily life with troubles every teenage girl faces, dumb boys, bullies, and of course crazy hormones. She let me know these things would pass and in fifteen years none of it will matter. She not only was concerned for my professional well-being but looked out for me socially when people took advantage of my naïve personality. She wrote me glowing recommendations in order to get into internships with Senator Collins and the Kennebec Correctional facility. She connected me with people and experiences I would not have experienced without her and for that I will always be grateful.
When I came to Thomas I was lucky enough to have the support of JMG’s college success program. Mr. Reynolds and Mr. Paquette not only checked in on me but gave me ample opportunities to practice service opportunities, public speaking, and leadership trainings. It is with their encouragement and guidance that I will be able to graduate a year early from Thomas. Along with Mrs. Butler, they also helped me earn internships with Senator Collins, the Kennebec County correctional facility, as well as my current internship in Washington.
My internship with Senator Collins helped hone my love for politics and showed me I was not meant to sit at a desk all day. I looked to Corrections and realized I loved the high stakes environment and helping those that society has forsaken. These experiences have played into my current internship in D.C. I not only review legislation but have been in meetings with the Senate veterans affairs committee, Senators, Congressmen, and multiple organizations in Washington. My experience in D.C. has been my favorite experience in my short 21 years of being on this planet and I have decided I will eventually return to D.C. to make it my second home.
Maine, however, will always be my first home. It brought me here to Thomas. This is where I first met with Mr. Paquette, who asked about my goals. I said, “I want to work for a senator, graduate early, go into the military and then in 2032 run for President of the United States”. Mr. Paquette looked at Mr. Reynolds and kind of chuckled but after meeting with me a few more times, he realized I was serious. They both have been very supportive of my goals and have only encouraged me. Both have given me resources, advice, and contacts I would have not been able to acquire by myself. They have not only been a political and business resource, but mentors and friends throughout my educational and professional journey.
They have also helped me greatly in my latest challenge I have undertaken, which is to apply to Officer Candidate School with the United States Army. With JMG’s help and guidance I am proud and excited to share that I was accepted and will be leaving for basic training in South Carolina on July 30th. In the next eight years I will be on active duty with the United States military as Second Lieutenant Provost. This will entail possible deployment overseas, years of specialized training, and working with, leading, and protecting some of the bravest men and women our country has to offer. When I come back from my time in the service I will be making a run for political office in Maine until I can make a run for the Presidential seat in 2032. This is only possible through the help of mentors and supporters like those I have found through JMG. I would not be where I am today without the help of these wonderful people and their expertise. JMG has truly helped me become the young woman I am today and I would hope each and every one of you will take advantage of the resources this organization has to offer.