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WSC JAG students plant trees to benefit community

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010
Posted by Roxane Molinari

WILLISTON, N.D. - The Williston community will be the eventual benefactors of a grant received and used by participants of Williston State College's JAG (Jobs for America's Graduates) program, which was launched at WSC during the 2009-2010 school year.

The program requires students to do some type of community service. Last year students helped out at Community Action, worked at Opportunity Foundation, and mentored other students through mental health issues, drug and alcohol addictions, etc. "We wanted them to find things that mattered to them," said ND-JAG Early College Success Program Career Coach Luana Fisketjon. "Helping others is an important value."

This year, Fisketjon applied for a Green and Growing School Garden Grant and received $500 to be used for a perpetual garden project to benefit the community. On Monday, JAG students gathered at WSC's Phil Rabon Baseball Field to plant fruit trees purchased with the grant monies. F&F Sprinklers donated their time and resources to dig holes for the trees.
"Working with businesses and community organizations is part of JAG's mission, and we appreciate them wanting to work with us!" Fisketjon said.

Eventually, when the trees mature and start producing fruit, the public will be encouraged to pick the fruit and use it. The students planted apple, apricot, cherry, plum and pear trees. Fisketjon told her students, "In the years to come you will be able to bring your family here and pick fruit off the trees you planted!"

"We've been talking about being more community minded and doing more for the community," Fisketjon said. "This is one way we found to provide a nice service for the community."

The JAG program is designed to increase the number of students who attain their academic and career goals and successfully transition from college into careers within the state and is funded through the federal government with funds disbursed by the North Dakota Department of Commerce.