Christensen named iJAG State Career Association President Elect
by Renée Brich, Managing Editor
HARLAN — Harlan Community High School student Zeke Christensen was recently selected iJAG State Career Association President Elect.
Christensen currently the holds the same title for the HCHS iJAG program. Since the 2022-2023 school year, HCHS students have had the opportunity to explore different careers and learn life skills to continue those careers beyond high school through Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates (iJAG).
There are currently 155 iJAG programs throughout Iowa. iJAG students in 10th or 11th grade who were elected to an officer position in their local association were eligible to apply for the statewide position. Eligible candidates submitted two letters of recommendation and a video of themselves explaining why they would be a good choice for the State Career Association position, as well as goals they would pursue if selected.
The videos and letters of recommendation were reviewed by iJAG Program Managers in Des Moines, and 10 finalists were selected. On November 3, the finalists each gave a two-minute speech on the topic of servant leadership in front of over 1,200 iJAG students at this year’s Career Development Conference held at the Iowa Event Center in Des Moines. Christensen became the president elect after receiving the most votes from the students in attendance.
Christensen said his duties are to lead and help other iJAG and JAG participants. “I need to be an example for others who say they can’t, and to work with those who need help finding what they want to do in the future,” he said.
Christensen will join current and newly elected officers from 38 states at the National Leadership Development Conference in Washington, DC November 29 through December 2.
“I’m very excited to get help on my leadership skills, and learn how to guide others in the right direction,” Christensen said.
Christensen will spend the remainder of this school year shadowing the current iJAG State Career Association President, and will assume the SCA President position next school year.
Lori Pilachi, HCHS education specialist with iJAG, hopes Zeke’s success will draw attention to the program.
“I believe Zeke’s position will help gain interest in our local chapter, and hopefully encourage more students to join iJAG, and more businesses involve themselves in our program.”
Christensen encourages students to see what the program offers. “Join iJag, you seriously don’t know where it’s going to take you.”