This year’s JAG class looked over older cameras from the past, as local photographer Vic Trujillo presented a variety of photo equipment for the students to examine. JAG, which stands for Jobs for American’s Graduates, is a specialized program which concentrates on high school career readiness, preparation of employment and completing a pathway toward achieving a stable workplace.

Through this state program, a senior in particular is guided to not only complete high school, but follow the steps necessary to achieve the first question a student may be asked – “What do you want to be?”

With JAG there is a school and career emphasis, propelling a student toward removing barriers which may keep them from properly entering a career. Solid ideas and 85 work related readiness competencies are completed, with a statewide statistic of 82 percent graduating and 86 percent receiving job placement. There are 120 contact hours which include a one-to-one component, with a 12 month follow-up. The students are involved in 360 assessment plans which they execute and then the process is evaluated as a data driven, evidenced based program.

As Trujillo encouraged a hands-on approach, the students showed an interest in the possibility of earning extra income within the photography field. A discussion surrounding the sale of private photos was shown by Trujillo’s own metal printed scenes, as well as selling pieces for media print.

Student Cheyenne Waggoner shared in the enjoyment of outdoor photography, especially in the portrayal of sunsets. Waggoner had accompanied Trujillo on an outdoor photo shoot in the past, explaining that hiking in extreme environments while carrying the equipment can be quite a challenge.

Trujillo shared some special techniques, suggestions of camera equipment and possible costs. He suggested using a mono pod, which works to stabilize a camera when shooting, while doubling as a walking stick.

JAG class director, Victor Montoya, suggested an idea of asking the community to donate their unused cameras to the high school, so the students could experiment with lighting and focusing within different types of cameras. Should anyone in the community have a unused camera, please contact Montoya through the high school. He would be happy to accept camera donations toward furthering the experience of photography with his high school students.