Leading and listening to others
Chandler Farless signed up to take the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) class during her junior year of high school at Central Academy. She was told the organization needed a president, so Farless nominated herself as president, despite not knowing a lot about JAG.
“I thought it would be interesting, and I wasn’t 100% sure what was going on, but I still nominated myself, and I actually ended up winning,” Farless says.
She was officially elected as JAG’s president around October 2021. Farless says she enjoys leadership positions like this, because she’s a “very social person.”
“It just brings me joy when everybody’s talking and having a good time … and if you’re the leader of something, you can make the environment like how you want the environment to be made,” Farless says.
The JAG class and program is dedicated to helping youth transition from secondary education to employment. Farless says the program has taught students how to get jobs, pay taxes, rent an apartment, budget expenses and other “real-life stuff.” Farless says students need a class like JAG, so they can flourish after graduation.
As president of JAG, Farless helps organize fundraisers and find creative ways to raise money. She says they recently opened a store at Central Academy called JAG POT.
Central Academy JAG Specialist Robin McKinley states that JAG POT stands for “Positive Opportunities Today and Tomorrow,” and the store is meant to provide work and management experience for students. Currently, they sell food items and are switching to healthy snack options like juice and baked chips.The store also sells JAG shirts and hoodies to members.
The store is operated by students like Farless, and profits go to fund opportunities and field trips for JAG members. Farless says being president is a lot more work than she expected, but she enjoys listening to her staff and other students’ opinions the most.
“The kids are really what matters. So, I like hearing their voices,” Farless says.
Farless is also a lead editor at Central Academy Press. In this role, she reads students’ work, makes edits and suggests changes before the work is published. Farless says she enjoys reading other students’ work more than reading her own work.
Outside of helping to lead JAG and Central Academy Press, Farless plays golf on Cape Central’s Varsity Girls’ Golf Team.
Farless has played golf since her early childhood and started competing in tournaments at the age of 11. She says she plays golf because it reminds her of her grandfather who often took her golfing before he passed away.
“I would say golf is more of a mind game than it is actually having any physical ability to do it, because there are times I’ll be out on the course, and I’ll think in my mind, ‘I’m not going to make this shot,’ and I don’t make the shot, and if I think I’m going to make it, then nine times out of 10, I’m going to make the shot,” Farless says.
After she graduates next year, Farless plans on studying business. Her goal is to open her own real estate company under her name, so she can sell, renovate and build homes. Farless hopes to be “a millionaire and happy” in 20 to 30 years.
Farless knows achieving her goals won’t be easy, but she is ready to put in the work. She says she is inspired by her mother, who has “always worked super hard.” Farless tries to live by this example, while learning from every lesson her mother teaches her.
“Always be truthful, [my mom has] always taught me that,” Farless says. “And basically, just working hard for what you want, because no one else is going to give it to you. You have to get it yourself.”