Augusta High School JAG-K Students Visit Statehouse

Butler County Times-Gazette, Feb. 20, 2024 – click to view original article

Among the more than 400 Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas (JAG-K) participants who visited the Kansas Statehouse as part of the JAG-K Day at the Capitol celebration on Feb. 8 were seven students from Augusta High School.

Students from JAG-K programs across the state met with their local legislators, informing them about the impact of the program and inviting them to visit their schools. Meeting with legislators helps JAG-K students understand how government works and connects the lawmakers to JAG-K at the local level.

Students toured the Capitol building and observed both legislative bodies in session. For many, it was their first visit to the Statehouse.

“Civic awareness and leadership development are two important aspects of the JAG model, and JAG-K Day at the Capitol is the perfect teaching event for those two competencies,” JAG-K President/CEO Chuck Knapp said. “The Kansas Legislature and Governor Kelly have been strong supporters of JAG-K, and this is an excellent opportunity for our students to thank them, encourage their continued involvement, and to learn about Kansas government at the same time.”

Augusta is fortunate to have two JAG-K programs at Augusta High School, led by Career Specialists Mindy McCormick and Andrea Pletcher. McCormick states, “This is one of the many opportunities our students get to experience by being a part of JAG-K. Not only do they get out in the community to explore potential careers and employers but they also get to see our local government in action.” Elected officers from both Augusta programs attended JAG-K Day at the Capitol. Presidents Landon Kreifels and Blake Firebaugh, Vice-Presidents Madi Williams, Elijah Quiring, Sierra Williams, Sophe Rhodes and Class Representatives Brayden McQueen, Jon Otis and were all in attendance.

Firebaugh said the highlight of his experience was climbing the stairs to the outdoor cupola atop the dome of the Capitol.

“We learned a lot about how government works,” Quiring said. “It was an honor to meet the legislators who represent our community.”

Kansas’ 112 JAG-K programs serve approximately 6,000 students in 47 school districts across the state. Participants in the program face multiple barriers to success that their JAG-K Career Specialist helps them overcome through a nationally-accredited, evidence-based model. Last year more than 900 JAG-K participants graduated from high schools across the state.

The 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization is a state affiliate of the national JAG program network which operates in 38 different states and territories. It is primarily funded through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant to the State of Kansas administered by the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF). In addition to school districts and DCF, JAG-K partners with the Kansas Department of Education. Other JAG-K funding sources include ADM, AT&T, EagleU, Evergy, Goldstein Charitable Trust, the JB and Anne Hodgdon Foundation, John Deere, the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, Kansas Gas Service, the Kansas Insurance Department, the Kansas State Bank Commissioner, Kohl’s, Royals Charities, Synchrony Financial, the Taco Bell Foundation, the City of Topeka, United Way of Kaw Valley, United Way of the Plains and Walmart.

To learn more about JAG-K, visit, ‘Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas’ on Facebook, and on Twitter at @JAG_Kansas.