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TOPEKA, KS — A new program has come to Kansas, aiming to keep high school students in school until graduation, and helping them prepare for a future career or further education.
Nicolette Schleisman was at Highland Park High School Monday for the unveiling of Jobs for American Grads at Kansas schools. She spoke with the teacher, and some of his students about how important the course is for them.
“How far I go, depends on me. That is what we will think about each and every day when we come to school,” said Michael Munoz.
Michael Munoz is the Jobs for American Graduates Instructor at Highland Park High School in Topeka. An initiative to keep students in school and get them to graduate. It is a close and personal cause for Munoz.
“When I thought about it, I was an at risk student. I was the one who was needing help. So at the same time I had people in the community help me out and so I felt like you know what now it’s my time to help the JAG participants as well,” said Munoz.
Governor Sam Brownback set out to bring the JAG program to Kansas less than a year ago, JAG has over a 90% graduation rate across the country. Now Governor Brownback wants to bring those successes to Kansas.
“We have great schools in Kansas and this is a tool to help you make it through these great schools and make your life better. And we’re delighted to have you as our opening class,” said Governor Brownback.
Even though school just started, students are already seeing a difference in themselves.
“I hope he teaches us exactly what this class is for… to boost our confidence. He’s already done that enough, I would have never gotten in front of this camera if it weren’t for him,” said Zedrick Spencer, student in the JAG program.
“By the end of the year, I want to make sure first and foremost that my seniors, that they graduate. I think that’s most important. My lower classes, my sophomores and my juniors make sure that they are promoted to the next grade, that’s the main thing. After that make sure that every person is confident and they have goals,” said Munoz.
JAG launched in 25 different schools across Kansas this week. Including Royal Valley High School in Hoyt and Dixon Center in Junction City.