Minneapolis Student Awarded Scholarship

A student from Minneapolis has been awarded a scholarship to help in her goal of a career in public service.

Clare McKain, a senior at Minneapolis High School, is the recipient of the third annual Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas (JAG-K) Bud Estes Memorial Scholarship honoring the memory of the late Kansas state senator from Dodge City.

According to the organization, McKain will receive $1,000 to apply toward college expenses. She was informed of the award Wednesday at the JAG-K Career Development Conference at Fort Hays State University.

A member of the JAG-K Board of Directors and one of the program’s most avid supporters, Estes passed away in February of 2021 following a long illness. Estes served in the Kansas Legislature from 2012 until his passing.

“We are pleased to honor the memory of Senator Estes with this annual scholarship,” said Chuck Knapp, JAG-K President and CEO. “There was not a stronger champion for JAG-K than Bud Estes. He was dedicated to ensuring a great future for Kansas, and his work with our organization showed how passionate and selfless he was.”

Kansas’ 112 JAG-K programs, which serve more than 600 students in 47 school districts across the state, reports a graduation rate of 96 percent over the past four years. Many of JAG-K’s students attend college, overcoming barriers that might otherwise have kept them from succeeding in school.

The Bud Estes scholarship is awarded to a student who expresses an interest in public service. McKain plans to pursue a career in law enforcement, specifically as a school resource officer. She attended the Kansas Highway Patrol Cadet Law Enforcement Academy in the summer of 2022.

“I didn’t really expect to win, and when I did, I was very excited,” said McKain. “It’s going to help me pay for room and board when I got to college.”

A participant in the Minneapolis High School JAG-K program for both years of its existence, McKain currently serves as the program’s Vice President of Career Development.

“Claire is the consummate team player. She will do anything to help the organization, and she really doesn’t care who gets the credit,” said Minneapolis JAG-K Career Specialist Jay Macy. “We try to have the adults in the organization be humble, hungry and smart. And Claire is getting ready to graduate and I feel like she has those qualities at this point.”

JAG-K is a multi-year, in-school program for students in grades 6-12 that offers tools to successfully transition students into post-secondary school, the military, or directly into the workforce with marketable skills. Participants in the program face multiple barriers to success that their JAG-K Career Specialist helps them overcome through a nationally-accredited, evidence-based model.

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 and Walmart.