News Release: JAG-K Receives Grant from United Way of the Plains

Students in the Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas (JAG-K) organization are benefitting from a grant from the United Way of the Plains that is providing consistency and continuity in their classrooms.

United Way of the Plains, which is dedicated to helping individuals and families throughout south-central Kansas achieve their human potential, provides several million dollars in grants to organizations in the area which address the community’s greatest needs in health, education, financial stability and basic necessities. JAG-K has been a beneficiary of United Way of the Plains grants in the past.

United Way of the Plains has granted more than $50,000 to JAG-K each of the past two years.

“JAG-K is helping some of the most at-risk students in our community by increasing graduation rates and post-secondary achievement, whether it be entering the work force or furthering their education after high school graduation. United Way of the Plains is happy to partner with JAG-K in order to help close gaps in our community around college and career readiness.”

This school year, JAG-K dedicated a portion of the funds received from the United Way of the Plains for a full-time substitute to fill in for Career Specialists in seven programs in the Wichita area.

A Career Specialist is the teacher who provides individual and group instruction to JAG-K participants in the classroom using the competency-based JAG National Curriculum. Career Specialists help students develop employability skills, stay on track to graduate and explore post-secondary education and career options. They develop a relationship with JAG-K participants through year-round attention and post-graduation follow up.

The unique role of the Career Specialist is enhanced by consistency in the lives of their students. For this reason, JAG-K prefers when possible to employ full-time substitutes who can maintain the continuity of the program.

JAG-K employs five full-time substitutes across the state. Joyea Marshall fills the role in the Wichita area.

“The benefit of having a full-time JAG-K sub is enormous,” said JAG-K Regional Manager Christy Pray, who oversees the Wichita area. “Having a trained specialist that can step into any of the USD 259 programs and instruct the JAG-K model is immeasurable. Joyea Marshall, our full-time sub, is an experienced JAG-K staff who can provide the consistency that our students come to depend on during their day. I am very grateful to have her support.”

In honor of National Substitute Educators Day in late November, JAG-K took the opportunity to honor the United Way of the Plains for helping participants in the Wichita area prepare for successful futures.

“We appreciate the support of United Way of the Plains and the positive impact they are having on JAG-K students in this area,” said JAG-K President and CEO Chuck Knapp. “Substitute teachers are invaluable, and we certainly appreciate Joyea and her fellow Career Specialist subs across Kansas.”

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