News Release: JAG-K Students Visit Statehouse, Meet with Gov. Kelly, Legislators

Ten JAG-K participants from programs across the state met with Gov. Laura Kelly and some of the state’s top lawmakers on Feb. 24 and learned about how they can prepare to make their mark in the workplace after graduation.

Kelly spoke with the group about some of her career experiences and then gave them a tour of her office. The students met with several legislators, as well as Lt. Gov. David Toland. The students learned about the significance of the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling, and were encouraged to pursue their career dreams, and to be involved in the political process.

Several legislators shared with the group their own educational and career experiences and what led them to enter politics. Among those speakers were Senate President Ty Masterson, Senate Democratic Leader Dinah Sykes, Speaker of the House Ron Ryckman, and House Democratic Leader Tom Sawyer.

Toland recounted his career experiences, including moving away from Kansas as a young adult. He told the group that, after living outside of the state, he realized the many great characteristics of Kansas and happily returned.

“Meeting with so many influential and inspirational leaders made this an unbelievable experience for the students,” JAG-K President/CEO Chuck Knapp said. “We couldn’t be more appreciative of this opportunity and for the support JAG-K receives from the Kelly administration and from the Kansas legislature.”

SJ Hazim and Connor England of Creative Pathways & Means in Topeka, gave a presentation on creativity in the workplace. They told students that in order to fully realize their career potential, they must move continually from inspiration to motivation to creation to connection.

JAG-K is a multi-year, in-school 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 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 40 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 AT&T, Capitol Federal, John Deere, Synchrony Financial, Taco Bell and Walmart.

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