WICHITA — Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas (JAG-K) students from McPherson High School attended the JAG-K Leadership Development Conference last week at Wichita State University.
“The Leadership Development Conference is a great opportunity for our students to attend presentations on topics including time management, career preparation and college life,” said McPherson High School JAG-K Career Specialist Katelyn Loecker. “They were also able to tour a college campus, which is an important experience for our students.”
Each JAG-K Career Association elects up to four officers to represent their school, and these are the students invited to attend the conference each fall. More than 250 students from 53 schools statewide traveled to the conference, including four students from McPherson High School: Cali Dykes, Kyra Byrd, Luke Riley, and Elaulus Reazin.
The conference featured a keynote speech from Secretary Delia Garcia from the Kansas Department of Labor. Sec. Garcia described the barriers she herself experienced while growing up and encouraged the students to become “comfortable with being uncomfortable” as they tackle life’s challenges.
JAG-K is a multi-year, in-school program for students in grades 7-12 that serves over 3900 students in 79 schools in 41 districts across the state. The nationally accredited, evidence-based model provides tools to successfully transition students into post-secondary school, the military or directly into the workforce with marketable skills. JAG-K students had a 98 percent graduation rate.
The 501(c) 3 not-for-profit organization is one of 39 state affiliate organizations of Jobs for America’s Graduates and is primarily funded through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant to the State of Kansas administered by 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, John Deere, and Taco Bell.