TOPEKA – Three participants in Jobs for America’s Graduates – Kansas programs were recently named recipients of the JAG-K Mortimer Scholarship for seniors in high school.
Chosen to receive Mortimer Scholarships for the upcoming school year were the following seniors:
1st Place, $500 – Yoselyn Castaneda (pictured), Pittsburg High School
2nd Place, $250 – Blair Holliday, Holcomb High School
3rd Place, $100 – Cheyenne Gordon, El Dorado High School
Students were selected from an application process that included an essay, resume, a speech, letters of recommendation, and work samples.
“These three students demonstrated through the application process that they are determined to work hard in college and to pursue careers that will impact others,” JAG-K President/CEO Chuck Knapp said.
Despite the recent pandemic, JAG-K helps more than 96% of its participants graduate annually (96.49% in 2020, the most recent totals available). Many of those students attend college, overcoming barriers that might otherwise have kept them from succeeding in school.
Having lived in Guatemala and Mexico before coming to the U.S., Castaneda is the first high school graduate in her family. The winner of a $500 scholarship, she plans to attend Pittsburg State University to study Nursing.
Through JAG-K Employer Engagement activities, Castaneda confirmed her interest in nursing, and actually earned certified nursing assistant (CNA) certification while in high school. She hopes to become an operating room nurse.
“Neither of my parents had the opportunity to get a good education and go to college to pursue their dreams,” Castaneda said in her application essay. “My mom has always encouraged me to attend school and work hard for my future.”