Great Bend High School juniors and seniors in the 11/12 JAG (Jobs for Americas Graduates) class competed at the Regional Career Development Conference (CDC) for JAG-K, held March 31 at Barton Community College. GBHS JAG instructor Jennifer Hopkins noted the students took second place as a team and also brought home some individual awards.
There were 228 students from 19 JAG programs at Regionals. Those who placed in the top four of their respective events will advance to the State CDC, which will be held virtually on April 21.
Dakota Aumiller placed first in Project-Based-Learning (PBL) and Bryce Hopkins placed fourth in Public Speaking, qualifying them for the State CDC on April 21. Ashton Ensley placed fifth in the Financial Literacy test, making him a first runner-up to the State CDC. If for any reason one of the top four placers in that event is not able to compete at State, Ensley will be given the opportunity to compete.
GBHS student Ezekiel Bujanda is entered in the T-shirt design contest. Students had the opportunity to design the back of the T-shirt that will be given to all State qualifiers. The winner will be announced at the State CDC.
Each JAG program chooses its own PBL project based on meeting a need in the school or community. This year, Great Bend’s JAG students are creating a Career Closet at the high school, so that students will be able to borrow clothing to wear to a job interview or other professional setting. They hope to have the Career Closet up and running by the beginning of the next school year, Hopkins said.
Aumiller’s presentation about this project can be viewed on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lt7Drhgrz1k.
Each year, JAG students across the state of Kansas are given the opportunity to showcase the skills they have learned in the classroom by competing against one another in various career readiness events, Hopkins said. This year’s events included T-Shirt Design, Employability Skills (mock interviews), Financial Literacy (exam), Project-Based Learning (based on a PBL project done in the classroom this year), and Public Speaking.
“As our state continues to grow and we increase our total number of JAG programs, we continue to offer the highest level of competition for our students,” Hopkins reported. “This year, students had to first compete against their peers within our own programs.” The top students in local competitions then advanced to a virtual sub-regional competition, where the top three in each category were then given the opportunity to continue on to the next round of competition.
At sub-regionals, Jonathan Ruiz from GBHS competed in Employability Skills but did not advance to regionals. Ensley, Aumiller and Bryce Hopkins advanced to regionals, with Aumiller taking first place in his event and Hopkins placing second (just one point away from first place) in his.