Students interact with legislators, receive Kansas Statehouse tours
JAG-K State Career Association (SCA) Officers and JAG-K Staff.
Back row from left: SCA Vice President Tyrese DeLaCruz, Chuck Knapp, President/CEO, Bev Mortimer, Vice President Program Development. Front row, from left: SCA President Linda Moyo of Newton High School; Governor Jeff Colyer, SCA Secretary Antonio Cooper, Junction City High School. (JAG-K Staff Photo)
TOPEKA – More than 225 Kansas high school students representing Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas (JAG-K) programs recently traveled to Topeka to visit the Kansas Statehouse. Students had the opportunity to meet and interact with legislators and receive Capitol tours.
“We wanted to come to the Capitol and get tours, but we also wanted to come and promote JAG-K and tell our legislators how good of a program it is in our school. I think that 100 percent of students could benefit from being in JAG-K,” said Megan Londeen, Southwest Regional JAG-K President.
JAG-K was recognized at 10 a.m. on the Kansas House of Representatives floor and at 2 p.m. on the Kansas Senate floor.
JAG-K is a multi-year program for students in grades seven through 12, that offers tools to successfully transition students into post-secondary school, the military, or directly into the workforce with marketable skills. Participants in the program face multiple barriers to success. Kansas adopted the program in 2013.
JAG-K is one of the most successful JAG startups in the country. In 2016, JAG-K students reached a 93 percent graduation rate, thanks to the supports and services offered by JAG-K Career specialists. The JAG-K Class of 2017 already has achieved a 97 percent graduation rate.
JAG-K is primarily funded through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) dollars, through the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF). Funds are available through an annual federal block grant.
“JAG-K is one of many poverty-prevention programs that DCF funds, helping numerous Kansas youth achieve a brighter future,” said Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel. “This is a wonderful program, and I am so excited that these students had the opportunity to come to our State Capitol and see the legislative process firsthand.”
“Education is so fundamentally important to the success of Kansas children,” said Governor Jeff Colyer. “JAG-K is equipping Kansas students with the right tools to have a successful, prosperous future.”
JAG-K is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization and an affiliate of the national JAG program that operates in 32 states. In addition to school districts and DCF, JAG-K partners with the Kansas State Department of Education. Other JAG-K funding sources include the Aetna Foundation, Amerigroup Foundation, AT&T, and John Deere Coffeyville Works.
To learn more about JAG-K visit, www.jagkansas.org. To learn more about poverty prevention programs funded by DCF visit, www.dcf.ks.gov.
More than 100 JAG-K students and their Career Specialists from Wichita and Augusta attended JAG-K Day at Wichita State University Tech (WSU Tech) to learn about the degree and certificate programs offered. Students received a guided tour of the campus and participated in hands-on projects in the Future Maker Mobile Lab. WSU Tech staff shared opportunities available to students in the manufacturing industry and how pursuing a technical degree could prepare them for a successful and prosperous future.
Christy Pray, JAG-K Career Specialist at Augusta High School, was thrilled that her students were able to participate in the event. "I learned so much today at WSU Tech and my students thoroughly enjoyed themselves," said Christy. "The WSU Tech staff were great and the campus tour was eye opening for my students." Pray said.
JAG-K is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that partners with students facing various barriers to success, helping them graduate high school and then on to a successful career path.