The true impact of JMG can be best shared through our alumni stories.
Life-Long Leadership Skills and an Innocent Brush with the Law
It’s been more than a decade and a half since Krista Collins was a JMG student at Calais High School, but the experiences she had and lessons she learned are alive and well. She talks about the career prep advice she got - like, learning how to build a strong resume, how to handle a job interview, and fill out an application. And, how she never turned down a chance to practice the leadership skills she was learning in class.
Krista says, “Looking back, I really enjoyed being in leadership roles. I was president of our program my senior year, but was encouraged right from the start to take on new responsibilities and really own them. I can definitely relate the importance of being a leader, and making sure things aren’t just done, but that they’re done well – to my time in JMG.”
Those leadership skills came in handy, helping her earn one career promotion after another. Krista started her medical career at Calais Regional Hospital preparing meals in the kitchen. From there, she got her CNA license and began working in the ER. Before long, she headed back to school, earned her nursing degree, and her career trajectory continued. She was quickly promoted to Director of Emergency Services, and just last year, was asked to take charge of In-patient Care and the Emergency Department. Last summer, the hospital’s CEO presented Krista with their 2015 Excellence Award for her dedication to quality and outstanding patient care.
Ed Leeman, Krista’s JMG Specialist at Calais High School says, “To say I’m proud of Krista would be the understatement of the year. When she was in my class, we did at least ten community service projects a year and Krista never missed a single one. She was always willing to give of herself for the betterment of others.”
In fact, Krista was so conscientious about her JMG responsibilities, it led to her very first (and only) brush with the law. Krista said, “One night – it was late, after midnight – and a couple of us were in the JMG classroom, our heads buried in a project. All of a sudden we heard something, looked up, and saw two uniformed police officers standing in the doorway….. Apparently, one of us had accidentally tripped the school’s security alarm. Fortunately, they could see we were working on an assignment and they let us finish up and go home.”
Fast-forward 17 years; Krista is the mother of three kids and is eager to pass down her JMG legacy. Her eldest son is a freshman at Calais. She said he’s already demonstrating the kinds of qualities promoted by JMG, like leadership and generosity, and she’s encouraging him to join. She says, “You learn all of these practical things to help you succeed, but you’re having fun. So, you don’t even realize what you’ve gained until, one day, you need it - and there it is.”