News Release: Hiawatha JAG-K Student Discovers Passion for Broadcasting through Job Shadow, Internship

Hiawatha High School student Paige Mueller decided to take a chance when an opportunity to job shadow at a local radio station was offered at her school. She wasn’t sure it would interest her, but she gave it a shot.

Mueller’s voice is now heard over the airwaves throughout northeast Kansas. And through Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas (JAG-K), she has found her passion.

JAG-K provides opportunities for students to explore careers through employer engagement relationships. Through camps, job shadowing, work opportunities, etc,, JAG-K Career Specialists help students line up applications, interviews or whatever else they need to obtain those experiences.

At the start of her sophomore year, Mueller heard that Kanzaland Radio Station in Hiawatha was looking for someone to assist with sports broadcasts. The offer did not appeal to her immediately.

“At first I didn’t think it would be anything I was interested in,” Mueller said. “But then I sort of got a feeling I should give it a try. I got thrown right into it.”

Mueller began by working for the “Hiawatha Channel,” which provides video broadcasts of the high school’s sporting events. She traveled to games and assisted with the technical aspects of the broadcasts.

“I was in charge of the graphics on the screen, the scoreboard and stuff like that while the game was live on the radio,” Mueller said. “I really fell in love with it from doing the sporting events.”

Mueller has learned employability skills as part of the JAG-K program at Hiawatha High School directed by Career Specialist Kelly Griswold.

Through the JAG-K program, Mueller arranged to spend parts of each week of the spring semester at the radio station, where she was trained in various aspects of studio broadcasting. She recorded commercials and announcements that are aired by the station.

“I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to job shadow had it not been for JAG-K, and the program really helped prepare me to succeed in the workplace,” Mueller said. “Mrs. Griswold has been supportive and always wants to hear about my experiences. To have a teacher who is behind me is really important.”

Griswold said exposing students to real world work environments is critical.

“Getting students the opportunity to job shadow increases their chances of success at picking a career to pursue,” Griswold said. “Job shadowing allows students to get acquainted with various jobs and learn the skills they need. This allows them to make sure they are gearing their continued education toward a career they are passionate about.”

Mueller quickly discovered that a career in broadcasting suits her.

“It took me a little bit to get over the nervousness and to get my ‘radio voice’. But after about a week, I was pretty fluent in it and felt pretty comfortable. You still feel some nerves when you’re about to go live on the radio.

It’s a pretty cool thing to hear your voice when you’re listening to the radio and know ‘I did that.’”

Mueller will continue to work at the radio station as an intern this summer and hopes to continue to build her skillset for two more years of high school. She plans to major in broadcasting in college upon graduation.

“I love it a lot. This is what I want to do for my career,” Mueller said. “The opportunity to job shadow really sparked my interest. I didn’t know I would love broadcasting until I tried it, and then I fell in love with it.”

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 39 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, ‘Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas’ on Facebook, and on Twitter at @JAG_Kansas.