The regional office of the Walmart corporation recently made a donation of $10,000 to Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas (JAG-K) to assist the organization in its efforts to help students prepare for successful futures.

The evidence-based JAG-K program helps students prepare for post-secondary education and employment opportunities. JAG-K served more than 4,100 students in 79 programs last year.

“At Walmart, we’re committed to creating access to employment and providing opportunities to grow a career through targeted investments designed to help create system-wide change,” said Kyla Luckie, Walmart regional general manager. “Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to supporting and preparing students for a successful career. We’re inspired by the work they do and are honored to play a role in helping JAG-K continue to make a significant impact in the futures of students across the state of Kansas.”

JAG-K President/CEO Chuck Knapp said financial support from businesses like Walmart is an investment in the future workforce of Kansas.

“We appreciate Walmart recognizing the good work we are doing to help students prepare for successful futures,” Knapp said. “We look forward to strengthening our partnership with Walmart. Most of our 43 Kansas school districts have a Walmart store in their community or within a close drive.”

JAG-K fosters relationships with businesses like Walmart to provide mentorships, work opportunities, and joint community service projects for its students. Knapp said connecting its programs to the corporate sector provides students a vision of their future. He said the program has demonstrated an ability to guide students to successful outcomes.

“While our students all face barriers to success, they had a 97% graduation rate over the past three years, and there is not a statistically significant achievement gap between students of color and their white peers,” Knapp said. “Nationally, JAG students are 230% more likely to be employed than their peers who were not in a JAG program.”

JAG-K is a multi-year, in-school program for students in grades seven through 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 40 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 AT&T, Capitol Federal, John Deere, Synchrony Financial and Taco Bell.

To learn more about JAG-K, visit www.jagkansas.org, ‘Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas’ on Facebook, and on Twitter at @JAG_Kansas.