News Release: Newton High JAG-K Student Serves as a Legislative Page at Statehouse

Civic awareness and leadership development are two important emphases of Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas (JAG-K) programs across the state. One of the ways JAG-K attempts to develop these qualities in students is by providing them experiences at the Statehouse in Topeka.

Recently more than 400 JAG-K students from across the state visited the Capitol building, meeting with legislators and learning about state government.

Last week, Tristan Gormley, a sophomore from Newton High School took the opportunity to add to his knowledge of the Kansas government by serving as a page for Sen. Carolyn McGinn, Sedgwick, at the Capitol. Planning to pursue a political science degree and a career in the military, Gormley believes understanding of the inner-workings of government will pay off in his future.

“When I was approached with the opportunity to be a page for senator McGinn I was instantly intrigued by anything that really had to do with state level government,” Gormley said. “I was very excited to have the opportunity and connections to be able to be in the program.”

Gormley attended hearings and a session of the Senate as well as a party caucus meeting and met with Reps. Stephen Owens, Hesston, and Avery Anderson, Newton.

The Kansas Legislature’s longstanding page program is designed to provide students in middle school and the first years of high school a chance to watch the legislative process up close. Gormley said he would encourage other JAG-K students to consider spending a day as a page.

“I would recommend it to any student who is wanting to gain information on how state level and local government works,” Gormley said. “For anyone who wants to also advance their status and personal connection with their local legislators, paging is a very good way to do so.”

“I am so proud of Tristan for advocating for this opportunity and for applying himself to gain knowledge and experience that will apply to his career plans,” said Newton High School JAG-K career specialist Dede Trumble. “We appreciate the legislature for making this program available and Sen. McGinn for encouraging Tristan’s interest in government.”

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, 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.