|Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas (JAG-K) students were recently introduced to career opportunities in a branch of the military via a day spent at McConnell Air Force Base near Wichita.
More than 180 students and staff from 10 high school JAG-K programs attended the recent Wing Wide Career Fair held specifically for JAG-K students. Airmen demonstrated various weapons and technical equipment and described a host of careers in the Air Force.
JAG-K programs participating in the visit were from schools in Augusta, Eudora, Hutchinson, Kingman and Wichita.
“I really liked how they explained what they do, and being able to go on base,” said Winfield student Poppy Terronez. “Being there opened my eyes to the possibilities that the military has to offer.”
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. JAG-K provides opportunities for students to explore careers through employer engagement relationships. Those experiences may include field trips, job shadows, internships and summer or part-time employment.
“This event at McConnell Air Force Base is a great example of how JAG-K introduces a host of career options to its students,” said JAG-K President and CEO Chuck Knapp. “We serve students with a wide range of career goals, as well as many who are just beginning to explore their interests. We strive to prepare them to choose the path that’s right for them, and for many the military offers an ideal path.”
McConnell hosted the JAG-K career fair to introduce the students to more than 50 different career pathways within the Air Guard, Air Force, and the Air Force Reserves.
“Student involvement is very important for the military because it helps our recruiting efforts,” said Staff Sgt. Emma Pray, who helped coordinate the JAG-K career fair. “We want people who we think would be really good and would thrive within the military environment: people looking for structure, people looking for a family, people looking for a job, to travel, things like that are important.”
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 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.