JAG Go-Deep National Demonstration Initiative

The Idea of Go-Deep

In 2014, John Engler, the former Governor of Michigan and founding member of JAG Nevada asked JAG President Ken Smith the following:

  • What if JAG was taken to scale in one municipality?
  • Would JAG move the needle on a larger scale?
  • Could JAG at scale impact societal factors such as incarceration rates, welfare participation rates, for a municipality?
  • Thus the seed of Go-Deep was planted.

The Inception of Go-Deep in North Las Vegas

In 2015, JAG Nevada proposed North Las Vegas as the site of Go-Deep to JAG National.  North Las Vegas offered a perfect laboratory to answer the question, can the JAG model move the needle in a municipality when applied at scale.  Here is why North Las Vegas was perfect:

  • North Las Vegas was the national epicenter for the unemployment and housing crash of 2008.
  • North Las Vegas is a bedroom community for working class families that has little industry of its own.
  • North Las Vegas grew rapidly during the 2000s during the economic/housing boom; came crashing down during the recession/housing bust.
  • 100,000 Nevada construction workers lost jobs almost overnight, many resided in North Las Vegas
  • For many North Las Vegas families the double menace of sudden unemployment coupled with Adjustable Rate Mortgages and falling property prices became the economic “perfect storm” that ruined many families’ economic fortunes.

JAG Nevada selected Cheyenne, Mojave, Canyon Springs and Legacy high schools in North Las Vegas to launch Go-Deep, and enrolled over 500 students in the program.  The diversity of students in Go-Deep reflect the populations with greatest need in Nevada, as 49% of students in Go-Deep are African-American and 30% are Hispanic/Latino. 

Independence and Validation; hallmarks of Go-Deep

JAG Nevada’s Go-Deep Initiative in North Las Vegas incorporated the follow elements to Go-Deep for purposes of guidance and validation, JAG Nevada:

  • Assembled a Go-Deep Advisory Committee to guide progress.
  • Incorporated an independent Validation Component to the Project.
  • Ensured widespread community support from:
    • City
    • County
    • State
    • School Community
    • Elected Officials

Go-Deep Outcomes; Promising Implications

The preliminary findings are very promising. In fact, we are pleased to report that the graduation rate for the Go-Deep class of 2017 was 95%!