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State Rep. Joe Tate Receives National Award for Supporting Michigan’s Youth

Michigan Business Network
December 22, 2021 2:00 PM


Top-ranking member of House Appropriations Committee celebrated for advocacy of Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates 

LANSING, Mich. – In recognition of his dedication to helping Michigan’s young people succeed, state Rep. Joe Tate (D-Detroit) received the National Government Leader Award from Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) during a special ceremony at the board of directors meeting. JAG is America’s most successful program for helping high-risk and disadvantaged youth.

Tate accepted the award virtually for his ongoing support of the Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) program, the state-based affiliate of JAG. JMG is the premier program of Youth Solutions, a nonprofit organization providing young people who have the desire for an education with experiences to prepare them for a job or career and tools to realize their potential. The program serves thousands of Michigan youth and has had a graduation rate above 90% for nine consecutive years.

“We are sincerely grateful for the difference you have made in the lives of so many young people, especially in the depths of a pandemic that hit our population the earliest and the hardest,” said Ken Smith, president of JAG, in the award letter. “This has been the program’s most successful year of delivering results for its students.”

Named Youth Solutions 2021 Legislative Champion for Michigan’s Youth, Tate has been a powerful voice for JMG. Recently, he successfully advocated for a $1 million increase in appropriations for the program. When he isn’t advocating for the program in Lansing, Tate participates in JMG events including Careers in Public Service Month, an annual event where youth speak with their legislators about important issues, and he regularly meets with youth at JMG schools in his district including Pershing High School.

“Rep. Tate has been an incredible advocate for our youth, and it means so much to them to have someone who really believes in them,” said Carolyn Miller, JMG specialist at Pershing. “Many people talk about being committed to Detroit and Michigan’s vulnerable young people, but Rep. Tate has shown that he truly cares for them, and he believes in teamwork and community.”

JMG alumna and Pershing graduate, Jakya Smith, had the opportunity to meet Tate at a student leadership event. “When I met him, I could tell he was genuinely interested in talking to us and wanted to hear what we had to say,” Smith said. “It was really inspiring to hear his story, how he was raised by a teacher and grew up in the Detroit public school system. Seeing what he has accomplished, I know there is no limit to what I can achieve.”

“Rep. Tate has built a reputation as a legislator who really listens, solves problems, and gets things done,” said Mollie Waller, executive director of Youth Solutions. “It’s because of his tireless efforts and advocacy that disadvantaged kids recognize they have a bright future ahead. We are honored to call Rep. Tate our friend, and we are thrilled for him to receive this award recognizing his hard work.” 

Elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2018 and re-elected in 2020, Tate represents Detroit’s Lower East Side, Grosse Pointe Park, Grosse Pointe City, and Grosse Pointe Farms. He serves as the Democratic vice-chair of the Michigan House of Representatives Appropriations Committee and is a member of the Health and Human Services Committee, the Military and Veterans Affairs and State Police Committee, and the General Government Committee.  Tate also served his country honorably in the United States Marine Corps, deploying twice to Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. 


About Youth Solutions, Inc. Inspiring and connecting youth to achieve a future beyond imagination, Youth Solutions is committed to providing Michigan’s youth with the desire for an education, the experiences that prepare them for a job or career, and the tools to realize their potential. Youth Solutions was established as a 501(c)3 in 2017 but has been serving in this capacity since 2008, positively impacting more than 18,000 youth ages 14-24, across Michigan. For more information about Youth Solutions, Inc. or to become a partner, visit us at www.ouryouthsolutions.org, follow us on Twitter @JobsforMIGrads, or “like” us on Facebook at @JobsforMichigansGraduates.

About Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates. As the premier program of Youth Solutions, Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) is offered at over 100 locations across the state and helps young people succeed in their education while providing the path to a productive future. JMG is the Michigan affiliate of the national Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) network, one of the largest and most successful student-centered programs that help young people achieve their fullest potential.

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