JAG-K visits local businesses

JAG was originally formed in 1979 in the state of Delaware.

JAG was originally formed in 1979 in the state of Delaware.

Jobs for America’s Graduates – Kansas, better known as JAG-K, is an organization to help students overcome obstacles to graduate high school and prepare for college or their career. Currently, JAG-K has 78 programs in 43 school districts across Kansas, helping more than 3,800 students.

Recently, the Hays High JAG-K group visited with Chris Norris of Sore Loser’s Tattoo and Piercing Shop and with Trooper Tod Heilman of the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Norris discussed why he decided to start his business with the students. Turning his passion of tattooing and piercing into his everyday career sparked his interest many years ago. Heilman talked about the benefits of being a State Trooper. This career offers a variety of duties, and Heilman expressed his enjoyment for freedom he has with the job.

“My favorite experience of JAG-K is being around my students on the daily,” JAG-K Career Specialist Trey O’Neil said. “I truly enjoy coming to work every day, and that is because I enjoy spending time with all my classes and coworkers. We have done some cool things throughout the year through career projects, competitions, class games and activities, and guest speakers and field trips.”

At the end of this year, O’Neil will be leaving his position as the JAG-K Career Specialist, as well as an assistant coach for the football and boys basketball teams. He has recently accepted a job as the head boys basketball coach and head strength and conditioning teacher at Hugoton High School.

O’Neil said he has enjoyed his time at Hays High and is very grateful for his students and mentors that helped him along the way.

“I had interest in becoming the JAG-K Career Specialist because this is a program that our student members will use for the rest of their lives,” O’Neil said. “Our main objective in JAG is to have our students graduate high school and have a plan for their future. If that is going to college, great! If that is going straight into the job field, great! As long as they have a plan and continue to work towards that to better oneself.”