Jun 11, 2024

Recent Russell High School graduate voted JAG-K Student of the Year

Posted Jun 11, 2024 9:15 AM
Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo


Hannah Gideon, a 2024 graduate of Russell High School, was recently announced as the Jobs for America’s Graduates -Kansas (JAG-K) “Student of the Year.” Gideon was elected by JAG-K state and regional student officers to receive the honor. Criteria for the award were the five pillars of the JAG-K Career Association: Leadership Development, Career Development, Civic Awareness, Service Learning, and Social Awareness.

 “JAG-K’s student leaders developed this honor and selected Hannah as the first recipient, which is a testament to the impact she has had, not only on the Russell High School program, but the legacy she leaves with the organization as a whole,” said JAG-K President and CEO Chuck Knapp.

Gideon served three school years as the president of the Russell High School JAG-K student-led Career Association.

“Hannah has worked hard to make JAG-K a place for everyone,” said Russell High School JAG-K Career Specialist Raina Tomlinson, who nominated Gideon for the award. “I have not only watched Hannah grow from her experience, but I have watched her develop and encourage those around her.”

After participating in a summer internship coordinated by the Ogallala Commons in the summer of 2022, Gideon encouraged other JAG-K students to participate and helped coordinate several entities to offer internships to a number of Russell High School JAG-K participants in the ensuing summers.

Gideon has fostered connections between the Russell JAG-K program and the community, including helping with elections, visiting the hospital and connecting with elementary school students through a letter writing program. She also helped spearhead a drive to start a school library at Russell High School. “JAG-K is not just a class for her. This is something she believes in,” Tomlinson said of Gideon.

Kansas’ 112 JAG-K programs serve approximately 6,000 students in 47 school districts across the state. JAG-K Career Specialists help students graduate and learn career, leadership, and life skills by executing a nationally-accredited, evidence-based model. Participants must meet criteria to be selected for the program and have potential to overcome various barriers to post-secondary success.

The 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization is a state affiliate of the national JAG program network which operates in 38 different states and territories. It is primarily funded through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant to the State of Kansas administered by the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF). In addition to school districts and DCF, JAG-K partners with the Kansas Department of Education. Other JAG-K funding sources include ADM, AT&T, EagleU, Evergy, Goldstein Charitable Trust, the JB and Anne Hodgdon Foundation, John Deere, the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas City Royals Foundation, Kansas Gas Service, the Kansas Insurance Department, the Kansas State Bank Commissioner, Kohl’s, Synchrony Financial, the Taco Bell Foundation, the City of Topeka, United Way of Kaw Valley, United Way of the Plains, U.S. Bank and Walmart.

To learn more about JAG-K, visit www.jagkansas.org, ‘Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas’ on Facebook, and on Twitter at @JAG_Kansas.