News Release: JAG-K Earns Top National Honor for 8th Year

For the eighth consecutive year, the Jobs for America’s Graduates national organization announced that the Kansas affiliate earned the organization’s 5 of 5 Award.

Additionally, 27 Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas (JAG-K) school-based programs earned the prestigious 5 of 5 Award for 2021. Each of Kansas’ four regions achieved the 5 of 5 Award standard on a regional basis.

(See below a list of all Kansas schools to receive the award.)

The 5 of 5 Award is bestowed upon those JAG programs that meet or exceed performance measures in five categories: graduation rate, positive outcomes, employment, post-secondary enrollment and job placement. JAG has a 12-month follow-up period with all seniors as part of its evidence-based, data-driven national model.

“To receive the 5 of 5 Award for the eighth year in a row is a special accomplishment that really speaks to the hard work of all of our dedicated career specialists,” said JAG-K President/CEO Chuck Knapp. “More importantly, it represents success for thousands of JAG-K students over the years. The evidence-based JAG model works, and we are looking forward to seeing more positive outcomes in 2022-23.

JAG-K helps students prepare for post-secondary education and employment opportunities. JAG-K programs across the state, serving approximately 4,300 students, reported a graduation rate of 95 percent for the Class of 2021. That total exceeded the state of Kansas’ total graduation rate of 88 percent.

JAG-K recorded a full-time positive outcomes rate of 86 percent, which means that number of 2021 graduates are either in post-secondary education, military service or in the workforce full-time one year after graduation. Seventy-two percent of graduates of 2021 are employed, with 84 percent of those reporting they are working full time.

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 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 ADM, AT&T, Evergy, Goldstein Charitable Trust, John Deere, the Kansas Health Foundation, the Kansas Insurance Department, the Kansas State Bank Commissioner, Stormont Vail Health, 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.

Recipients of the JAG “5 of 5 Award” and their Career Specialist during the 2021-2022 school year:

Beloit High School                                          Jacee Tice

Emporia High School 1                                   Lori Tubach

Field Kindley High School (Coffeyville)        Shayla Reliford

Garden City Achieve AE                                Erica Schafer

Garden City High School                                Lynzee Beery

Great Bend High School 1                              Jennifer Hopkins

Kiowa County High School                            Marcus Mitchell

Hiawatha High School                                    Kelly Griswold

Highland Park High School (Topeka)             Vernon White

Holcomb High School                                     Melinda Gerstberger

Hutchinson High School 1                              Marcus Moeder

Independence High School                              Moises Rivera

KC Schlagle High School 1                            Karla Pledger

KC Wyandotte High School 1                        Morgan Choitz

Labette County High School                          Lee Reliford

Larned High School                                         Israel Hagerman

Pittsburg High School                                     Jessica Thomas

Pratt High School                                            Shaphan Staats

Royal Valley High School (Hoyt)                  Kevin Swiercinsk

Salina South High School                                Paige Parker

Seaman High School (Topeka)                        Abby Buche

Topeka High School 1                                    Teresa Leslie-Canty

Wichita North High School                             Kareema Williams

Wichita Northwest High School                     Nicholas Harris

Wichita Southeast High School                       Ashley Baughns

Wichita West High School                              DeMarshae Franklin

Winfield High School                          Tierney Hopkins