News Release: JAG-K Senior Days Provide Education, Opportunities for Students Across Kansas

More than 130 students from across Kansas visited the State Capitol, Washburn University and a number of Topeka-area businesses last week as part of the Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas (JAG-K) Senior Days event.

Three consecutive Senior Days brought students from 28 Kansas schools to the Statehouse to learn about the governmental process and meet with legislators from their respective areas.

Students also toured Washburn University and Washburn Tech campuses and met administrators to learn more about the schools.

“It’s important that we familiarize our students with their post-secondary options, so we make an effort to introduce them to all the colleges in Kansas,” said Elizabeth Hamblin, Programming Coordinator for JAG-K. “We really appreciate Washburn for opening its doors to help our students get a vision for attending college.”

JAG-K partnered with seven Topeka-area businesses and organizations to introduce students from across the state to a host of jobs and careers. Hosting students in Topeka were U.S. Bank, Stormont Vail Health, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Kohl’s, Mammoth Marketing, the Cyrus Hotel, Visit Topeka, the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center, Stormont Vail Events Center and the Topeka Fire Department.

“The opportunities that JAG-K offers our senior students are endless,” said Atchison High School JAG-K Career Specialist Kerra Downing. “The visits to Topeka-area businesses show students diverse career opportunities, many that they don’t get to see in their hometowns. Being able to tour the Capitol building is an amazing experience, and visiting Washburn was eye opening for my seniors with how it showcased what could be their next chapter of life.”

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. Senior Days in Topeka are planned to introduce high school seniors to careers while also giving them the opportunity to visit the Capitol and learn more about post-secondary education options.

“I really looked forward to this, and I’m so happy that I got to have this experience and expand my knowledge of jobs,” Goodland senior Havon Rickard said. “Seeing the Capitol was so awesome, and we really learned a lot.”

Kansas’ 112 JAG-K programs serve approximately 6,000 students in 47 school districts across the state. JAG-K Career Specialists help students graduate and learn career, leadership, and life skills by executing a nationally-accredited, evidence-based model. Participants must meet criteria to be selected for the program and have potential to overcome various barriers to post-secondary success. Last year, JAG-K had more than 900 high school graduates.

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, the Kansas City Royals Foundation, Kansas Gas Service, the Kansas Insurance Department, the Kansas State Bank Commissioner, Kohl’s, Synchrony Financial, the Taco Bell Foundation, the City of Topeka, United Way of Kaw Valley, 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.