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Jobs for America’s Graduates Program Excels at EHS

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Kim Underwood

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Ali Macias

The Jobs for America’s Graduates Program at Emporia High School is getting attention at the state and national level for success after its first year.

JAG Specialists Kimberly Underwood and Ali Macias received the Excellence for Site Fundraising Award for the northeast region from the state organization during the state conference last month. The award recognized their successful fireworks sale the past summer, operated by EHS students in the JAG program. The project raised $4,300 for the program.

Macias also was awarded the Northeast Regional Specialist of the Year. She is one of 52 specialists in Kansas and one specialist is selected in each of the four regions.

It also was announced at the state conference that Macias had received a Class of 2014 Peak Performance of the Year award from the national JAG organization.

“Although I am truly humbled and honored to have received these awards, I believe the true award goes to my JAG students,” Macias said. “It has been amazing to watch my students blossom into young adults. The relationship that I have built with each of my students, over such a short time period, has been life changing.”

JAG is a state-based national non-profit organization that prepares at-risk youth for postsecondary education and employment. The program is starting its second year at EHS. It is an elective course and students are invited to apply. Underwood teaches grades 9 and 10 and has 43 students enrolled this year. Macias teaches grades 11 and 12 and has 45 students.

JAG is currently in 61 schools in 28 school districts across Kansas and serves approximately 3,400 students. JAG-Kansas, Inc. operates as a non-profit organization in partnership with the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) and the Kansas State Department of Education. Funding for the program primarily derives from a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families grant through DCF. The program receives additional support by the JAG-Kansas, Inc. Board of Directors; Seaboard Foods; Archer Daniels Midland; John Deere Foundation; Kansas National Guard; Kansas Chamber of Commerce; and AT&T.

For more information about JAG, visit www.jag.org.

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