News Release: JAG-K Day at the Capitol Brings 400 Participants to the Kansas Statehouse

More than 400 Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas (JAG-K) participants visited the Kansas Statehouse as part of the JAG-K Day at the Capitol celebration on Feb. 8.

Students from JAG-K programs across the state met with their local legislators, informing them about the impact of the program and inviting them to visit their schools. Meeting with legislators helps JAG-K students understand how government works and connects the lawmakers to JAG-K at the local level.

Students toured the Capitol building and observed both legislative bodies in session. For many, it was their first visit to the Statehouse.

“I think it’s really important for our students to see our government in action,” said Brooke Brown, JAG-K regional manager from southeast Kansas. “We hear about it on the news and it’s something that seems far off to our students. When they are able to come here in person, they are able to see laws being made. They get a buy-in and will hopefully be supportive and involved in the government process in the future.”

Statewide-elected student leaders of JAG-K were recognized on the floor of the House and Senate. Members of the Kansas Senate signed a proclamation designating Feb. 8 as “JAG-K Day at the Capitol.”

“Civic awareness and leadership development are two important aspects of the JAG model, and JAG-K Day at the Capitol is the perfect teaching event for those two competencies,” JAG-K President/CEO Chuck Knapp said. “The Kansas Legislature and Governor Kelly have been strong supporters of JAG-K, and this is an excellent opportunity for our students to thank them, encourage their continued involvement, and to learn about Kansas government at the same time.”

Knapp and several JAG-K students testified to the impact of the program before the Senate Education Committee. (Click to watch the video of the committee hearing.)

Harlan Tasci, a sophomore at Goodland High School, made his first visit to the Kansas Statehouse. He said JAG-K students benefit from learning about state government.

“It was a cool experience seeing the capitol and how (legislators) do their work,” Tasci said. “The history you learn about the building and about Kansas itself is cool.”

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, Evergy, Goldstein Charitable Trust, John Deere, Kansas Gas Service, the Kansas Insurance Department, the Kansas State Bank Commissioner, 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.