Students Receive Financial Literacy Scholarships from Kansas Department of Insurance

Three participants in Jobs for Americas’ Graduates-Kansas (JAG-K) programs were announced Wednesday as winners of a financial literacy essay contest sponsored by the Securities Division of the Kansas Department of Insurance.

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Vickie Schmidt announced the scholarship winners at the JAG-K Career Development Conference hosted at Fort Hays State University. The scholarship winners included:

1st Place, $5,000 – Steve Nguyen, Wichita Southeast High School (pictured below)

2nd Place, $3,000 – Megan Urrutia, Emporia High School

3rd Place, $2,000 – Cooper Fulton, Kiowa County High School

Kansas’ 112 JAG-K programs, which serve more than 6,000 students in 47 school districts across the state, report a graduation rate of over 96 percent over the past four years. One of the responsibilities of JAG-K is the instruction of sound financial management to its participants, many of whom come from low-income families.

The Securities Division works to protect Kansas citizens by creating awareness of fraudulent activity in the securities industry and by assisting the Kansas Attorney General in identifying and prosecuting fraud.  The Securities Division is partnering with student development organizations like JAG-K to support and promote financial literacy programs throughout the state.

The Kansas Department of Insurance donated $25,000 to help support JAG-K’s efforts to teach important financial concepts to the students in the program. A portion of the donated funds were designated for a financial literacy essay contest in which the top three JAG-K student essays would split a share of $10,000 in scholarship funds.

“This year’s winners demonstrated a strong connection between their personal financial goals and investing,” said Commissioner Schmidt. “The essays show that JAG-K students are obtaining practical money skills that will serve them well in adulthood.”

The three students will now have the opportunity to compete against winners of financial literacy competitions representing two other Kansas organizations for the chance to win an additional $5,000, $3,000, or $2,000.

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, 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.