BOONE, Iowa -- Kaine Vinchattle admits he was in a bad place at times over the past year, but now the Boone High School junior feels confident and sees a good future for himself after school is finished.
"It makes me think I actually have a chance," Vinchattle said on Tuesday. "It's just so crazy to see where I'm at this year and how much I've progressed."
Vinchattle used to daydream about the apple tree in his family's back yard. Now, he is experimenting with his own cider, jam, and applesauce and hopes to open his own apple orchard one day.
Vinchattle credits the iJAG program at his school--one of the newest chapters in the state--for giving him skills like how to fill out job and internship applications and navigate complicated tax forms. The program works as an extension of an existing resource at the school: the Boone EDGE (Empowering Desire Guiding Experience).
Boone EDGE combines classroom experiences with work experiences to better prepare students with communication, collaboration, and job skills.
"It helped me learn possibilities that I never thought would be possible before," Vinchattle said.
Vinchattle took part in a ceremony at his school with Governor Kim Reynolds and school officials. They celebrated a $100,000 donation from AT&T to iJAG's statewide efforts.
iJAG board member Greg Linde, Vice President of Individual Life at The Principal Financial Group, said, "Together we are making a difference in the lives of the students of Iowa."