JAG-K Student From Kiowa County High School Receives Rudd Scholarship

Kiowa County High School senior and JAG-K Career Association Vice President Liberty Gilkey was recently announced as one of 30 recipients of the Rudd Scholarship.

The Rudd Scholarship is a Kansas program for Kansas residents who qualify for a Pell Grant. The 4-year award is designed to pay any remaining costs associated with tuition and fees, books and supplies, and room and board after accounting for all other grants, scholarships and financial awards. It can be applied only towards studies at Emporia State University, Fort Hays State University, or Wichita State University for full-time students in pursuit of an undergraduate degree

The 30 recipients of the scholarship, valued at $100,000, were chosen from a large number of applicants this year.

(Click to see the official announcement of the 2023 scholarship recipients from the Rudd Foundation)

“I feel extremely honored and overjoyed to have received such a huge scholarship!” Gilkey said. “It just shows that all the hard days I endured, the good days I celebrated and everything in between over these last four years has been worth it.”

Last spring, Gilkey was elected by her peers to serve as vice president of the statewide association of of JAG-K students.

The senior exhibits many qualities worthy of the scholarship, Kiowa County High School Career Specialist Marcus Mitchell said.

“This was no accident that Liberty was awarded this prestigious scholarship from the Rudd Foundation,” Mitchell said. “Her values and goals align with their mission statement. I also believe she exhibits grit, determination, and a strong work ethic which is what the scholarship committee looks for in applicants.” 

Gilkey plans to attend Wichita State University to study Psychology.

“This scholarship has given me the opportunity to focus on my academics without worrying about my financial responsibilities,” Gilkey said. “With that, I will be able to pursue my dream career with ease.”

JAG-K is a multi-year, in-school program for students in grades 6-12 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 that their JAG-K Career Specialist helps them overcome through a nationally-accredited, evidence-based model.

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, Royals Charities, Synchrony Financial, the Taco Bell Foundation, the City of Topeka, United Way of the Plains and Walmart.

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