Last month, we watched more than 900 JAG-K seniors receive their high school diplomas. Graduations were an opportunity to reflect on what a successful and eventful school year we just completed.
JAG-K started the 2022-2023 school year by opening programs in five communities in which it previously had no presence, while also increasing its number of programs in urban areas like Wichita, Kansas City, Topeka, and Junction City. We increased our capacity to serve students by about 1,200.
The increase in number of programs to 104 made Kansas the fastest JAG affiliate to reach 100 programs, doing so in less than 10 years. We now are in 86 high schools and 13 middle schools. JAG-K also has five alternate education programs and five ‘transition’ programs dedicated to serving students in foster care and the juvenile justice system.
In November, we hosted the JAG-K Soirée to recognize the efforts of so many people who have contributed to the work of JAG-K over its 10 years of existence.
In April, 32 students and eight staff members traveled to Orlando to participate in the JAG National Career Development Conference. Several JAG-K students placed in the top 10 in national competitions, with two individuals medaling in the top three spots in their events.
And just a few days ago, we confirmed that JAG-K earned for the ninth consecutive year the statewide 6 of 6 Award recognition (an expansion of the 5 of 5 Award presented by the national organization). This award recognizes the JAG affiliates that meet or exceed performance measures in six categories, including graduation rate and full-time successful outcomes.
Now we turn our attention to summer programming. JAG-K doesn't stop during the summer. Career Specialists assist students in recovering credits and completing school requirements, acquiring work opportunities, finding internships, camps and other learning experiences. They also foster a supportive network for students during the months away from the classroom, hoping to ensure strong mental health and reinforce what was taught during the school year.
We look forward to sharing stories of some of the learning experiences of our students this summer! Stay tuned!
JAG-K President and CEO