Preparing Students for Successful Futures
July 2021
National Statistics Demonstrate Effectiveness of JAG Program Despite Pandemic
The national office of JAG announced on June 8 some amazing statistics about the success of the program nationally. The chart below lists statistics gathered from the graduating class of 2019, which were tabulated on May 31, 2020, and those for the class of 2020, tabulated on May 31 of this year.
The numbers for the class of 2020 – a class affected by disrupted learning, closed schools, virtual learning, and strict COVID-19 precautions in school buildings – are an amazing reflection of the hard work done by JAG students and staff across the country to overcome those obstacles.

As Ken Smith states in the text below, incredibly, the results from the class of 2020 were the best in the history of JAG!
The preliminary results for JAG’s Class of 2020 were tabulated by our two data systems as of May 31. We could not be more inspired to report the results are the best ever in the 40‑year history of Jobs for America's Graduates.
These results are, truly, simply outstanding. Information on the enormity of learning loss and student disengagement is just now becoming more public, and it will be publicized much more over the next 3–4 weeks. With the nation facing such disastrous educational impacts from the pandemic, the results achieved by JAG for the lowest‑performing segments of high school and middle school populations, in a word, stunning. 
So too with regard to the results of JAG’s out‑of‑school program, with an employment rate of 68% and 51% earning a high school diploma or equivalent, which is dramatically higher than other out‑of‑school programs we are able to monitor.   
The “Unable to contact” rate of 8.16% for the Class of 2020 is the lowest in JAG’s history. Congratulations!
 In short, you and your team have, once again, delivered great results for our most vulnerable young people – and often their families. You have demonstrated that we can help young people overcome extraordinary learning challenges through intensive engagement, personal support and a commitment by our frontline team to meeting every challenge to ensure success in school, employment and post‑secondary education.
I am excited to share that the JAG program in Kansas has recorded its own remarkable statistics that demonstrate success during the pandemic!
JAG-K’s graduation rate for 2020, when COVID-19 was first sweeping across the U.S., was 97.05%.
Because JAG-K staff worked tirelessly to keep in touch with its students, to help them overcome whatever obstacles might prohibit them from succeeding at school during the pandemic, Kansas programs statewide reported an astoundingly low 2.55% “unable to contact” rate in March of 2021.
Despite all the obstacles, I am proud of our JAG-K team for demonstrating resilience and the effectiveness of evidence-based JAG model. The model has worked for 40 years, and despite the pandemic, JAG just recorded its best year in history!
Chuck Knapp, President/CEO
Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas
Student Leaders Attend KC Summit
JAG-K participants from across the state gathered in Kansas City for the Legends Student Leadership Training Summit in early June. The students learned a variety of lessons on topics including leadership and career development, the college admissions process, networking, and the importance of teamwork

Selected for the event were elected state student leaders, qualifiers for the 2020 JAG National Student Leadership Academy, and those who placed in the top three at the 2021 JAG-K State Career Development Conference.

The group visited the World War I Museum and the Steamboat Arabia Museum. The students attended a Kansas City Monarchs baseball game at Legends, where they learned about the history of the Negro League team by that name, and discussed the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion. Team owner Mark Brandmeyer took time to meet with the students prior to the game to discuss what goes into running a minor league baseball franchise, as well as career and internship opportunities with the organization.

The students also visited Johnson County Community College and learned about what to expect should they choose to attend college.

SJ Hazim and Connor England of Creative Pathways and Means provided a presentation on effective communication.

“Our students had a great learning experience, and a joy being around each other, meeting new friends,” said JAG-K President/CEO Chuck Knapp. “The time was devoted to developing their leadership skills, which they will use in the upcoming school year in their respective programs.”

JAG-K Students Receive Scholarships
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, 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 (pictured) 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. 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.”
July Training Event to Equip Staff
The JAG-K staff will gather in Wichita for three days of training July 26-30 to prepare for the upcoming school year.
In a series of training sessions, staff will study best practices and share effective techniques for helping students achieve. That in-person event culminates a month of orientation for new staff and training for all employees.
The theme for the 2021 training event in Wichita is “Laying the Foundation for Success: We are only as strong as our foundation!”
"This year we are going back to the foundation...the core of what JAG-K is all about, and that is assisting our students to achieve success and be resilient,” said Natalie Toney, JAG-K Director of Training (pictured).
“This past year has been such a difficult year for everyone, but especially our Career Specialists. We have not had the opportunity to come together as a group in such a long time. So, this will not only be a time to be trained, but also to build unity, to support, and re-energize with one another."
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