Preparing Students for Successful Futures
February 2021
JAG-K Students Visit Statehouse,
Meet with Gov. Kelly, Legislators
Ten JAG-K participants from programs across the state met with Gov. Laura Kelly and some of the state’s top lawmakers and learned about how they can prepare to make their mark in the workplace after graduation.
Kelly spoke with the group about some of her career experiences and then gave them a tour of her office. The students met with several legislators, as well as Lt. Gov. David Toland. The students learned about the significance of the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling, and were encouraged to pursue their career dreams, and to be involved in the political process.
Several legislators shared with the group their own educational and career experiences and what led them to enter politics. Among those speakers were Senate President Ty Masterson, Senate Democratic Leader Dinah Sykes, Speaker of the House Ron Ryckman, and House Democratic Leader Tom Sawyer.
Toland recounted his career experiences, including moving away from Kansas as a young adult. He told the group that, after living outside of the state, he realized the many great characteristics of Kansas and happily returned.
“Meeting with so many influential and inspirational leaders made this an unbelievable experience for the students,” JAG-K President/CEO Chuck Knapp said. “We couldn’t be more appreciative of this opportunity and for the support JAG-K receives from the Kelly administration and from the Kansas legislature.”
SJ Hazim and Connor England of Creative Pathways & Means in Topeka, gave a presentation on creativity in the workplace. They told students that in order to fully realize their career potential, they must move continually from inspiration to motivation to creation to connection.
In Memory:
Sen. Bud Estes was strong JAG-K Champion
A member of the JAG-K Board and one of the program’s most important supporters, Sen. Bud Estes, Dodge City, passed away in mid-February from a long illness. Estes served in the Kansas Legislature from 2012 until his passing.
Estes was an advocate for the JAG-K program and a supporter of many programs for youth. His contributions will be missed by the JAG-K Board and staff, as well as by all Kansans.

"There was not a stronger champion for JAG-K than Bud Estes,” said JAG-K President/CEO Chuck Knapp. “He was dedicated to ensuring a great future for Kansas, and his work with our organization showed how passionate and selfless he was.”
JAG-K is guided by an 21-member volunteer board. Current members include:
Dennis Mullin – Chair
Molly Kocour Boyle -Vice Chair
Jim Clark - Treasurer / Secretary
Barbara Ballard
Jennifer Bauer
Mike Beene
Alan Cobb
Kenya Cox
Jim Echols
Troy Findley
Delia Garcia
Tim Johnson
Erin Kobler
Kevin Like
Daphne R. Maxwell
Lt. Col. Trent Miller
Mike O'Neal
Jamie Stafford
Andrew Wiens
Another Year of Competitions Begins
JAG-K students claimed a remarkable number of awards at the National Student Leadership Academy (NSLA) last fall. Kansas entrants took first place in three of the four events, while two more claimed third-place finishes, with five others placing in the top ten.
The hard work that leads to such success begins much earlier. School programs hold their own local competitions in February and March. These local competitions are designed to get as many students involved as possible in the competitions that include public speaking, financial literacy, a project-based learning showcase, and demonstration of ‘Employability Skills.’ Live presentations and projects are great simulations of real-world application. 
Winners of those school competitions are entered into regional competitions. This year, regional winners will be announced in early April. Next up is a statewide competition in late spring. And finally, those state winners will be rewarded with an in-state Career Association trip in June.
Traditionally, all these competitions are held in person. But the pandemic forced every level of competition to be held virtually or conducted from a distance. 
“The Career Specialists at every program showed a lot of flexibility and determination to press on with these contests last year, and they are doing it again this year,” said Connor Phillips, Director of Programming. “The same is true of the students. These competitions are a great learning experience and are a demonstration of all that students have learned. Despite having to do things in a very different way, students and staff are showing great perseverance and adaptability. And it really paid off in last fall’s national competition.” 
Watch for announcements of regional, state and national competitions in the coming months. 
JAG-K Students Compare College Choices
JAG-K prepares students to choose the post-secondary path that is right for them.

JAG-K programs like the one at McPherson High School perform evaluations of college options, comparing things like tuition and room and board costs, acceptance requirements, size of the institution, degree options and other factors. The students are required to develop a Powerpoint which they present virtually to their classmates.

“This activity helps students not only consider their college options, but to develop critical thinking and research skills, “ said McPherson Career Specialist Katelyn Loecker. “It is a real-world application that they seemed to enjoy. A lot of these students will attend college soon, so it gives them some real insight into the factors driving the decision.”
Pro Basketball Star Speaks To JAG-K Class
Ron Baker, professional basketball player from Kansas, recently met virtually with the students of Hutchinson High School's JAG-K program.

A native of western Kansas, Baker was an All-American at Wichita State University who has played professionally in the NBA and in Russia. He spoke to students about character and perseverance.

Baker, a walk-on at Wichita State when he was offered only a couple of scholarships at small colleges, described how being overlooked and doubted motivated him. He encouraged students to seek out good role models.

"Don't let others tell you you can't do something great," Baker told the students. " You can achieve your dreams."
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Preparing Students
for Successful Futures