JAG-K students explore options for future

Anna Wollenberg, Staff Writer

JAG-K has kicked into gear this fall with three events in the past two weeks including field trips to Kansas University, and Kansas State University. Jobs for America’s Graduates -Kansas is a class at Manhattan High. JAG-K is an elective that a student has to be selected for. This class helps teach students employability skills, stress management, college and career readiness, and life skills.

“JAG-K itself is a separate organization that has events throughout the entire year,” Jade Anderson, the JAG-K carrier specialist at MHS, said. “mostly Leadership development conferences.” 

At the start of October JAG-K elected students in their class to be the members of the Career Association Cabinet within the program. In Anderson’s class students campaigned for themselves. Peers elected sophomore Landon Machor for President, sophomore Trace Crumpet for Vice President, freshman Lillian Mitchell for Secretary and sophomore Asha McCann for Treasurer. These students help organize events in their class. 

“It is a student-led organization,” Anderson stated. “That helps with leadership development, and then also career readiness.” 

Darian Taylor, another JAG-K teacher, also has an elected cabinet separate from Anderson’s class. Students also elected leadership positions in the class which consisted of roles like Activities Coordinator, Employer , Community Service, Social Media and Financial Advisor.

JAG-K took a field trip to KU for a leadership development conference. Only the members of the Cabinet got to go but JAG-K members from across the state got to attend. There are about 60-70 JAG-K programs in Kansas, which means about 400 students from the JAG-K organization were there. Students got to attend breakout sessions and listen to speakers talk about opportunities at KU. Students even did a tour of the University campus. 

The second field trip 25 students went to K-State. Students got to split into pairs and tour different colleges inside K-State University. The two colleges they got to talk about were The College of Arts and Science and the College of Engineering. The students got to build tiny motors as a part of the Engineering college tour. 

“So it was a really cool hands-on experience.” Anderson Said. “It just exposes them to something different.” 

The students paired up and listened to different people talk through admissions, financial aid and scholarships that can be achieved through K-State.  Students got to see lots of different career options and different types of majors that they could get into. JAG-K will have another Leadership Development Conference in November. 

Overall JAG-K program provides a lot of opportunities for MHS students. Anderson’s biggest hope is that her class helps students develop self awareness.

“First of all,” Anderson said. “We’re always telling them the more that you understand yourself the better you can move through life.” 

This class helps students figure out their own self interest, a struggle that all high schoolers go through. And when you understand yourself you will be able to understand others better. 

Anderson wants this class to help students of course by graduating high school, but then after that whether it be going to college or applying for the military, or going into the workforce. But more than anything this class gives students a chance to put themselves out there and learn about different opportunities and this puts them in a position to achieve whatever they want to achieve in life. This class will help students get a wider view of life outside of high school and become the best version of themselves.

“We’re constantly in connection with people.” Anderson states. “And I just think it is a really worthwhile skill that can help students with everything else.”