JAG-Missouri helps students reach their full potential by graduating from high school and recognize their value as they move into college, military service or a career.
JAG students face multiple barriers to success. JAG is both a school drop-out prevention and a school-to-work program, helping address the workforce development needs of the state, while providing services to students in both urban and rural settings.
JAG-Missouri students have achieved a high school graduation of over 98 percent.
JAG works with talented, but socially unprepared, students. JAG works because it sees the value of these students and unleashes the potential they have. JAG students have talent, grit, and a hunger to learn. They want to succeed and have a better life. And they want to be productive citizens. All they need is someone who believes in them and creates the opportunity to show what they can do. JAG does that. Students benefit from the “JAG Advantage,” a set of three strategies:
Project Based Learning (PBL)
Trauma Informed Care
As a result of its proven record of success, JAG-Missouri has grown from six programs in six schools (serving 225 students) in 2014-15 to 104 programs in 74 schools (serving over 4,000 students) in 2022-23. The Board of Directors is committed to continuing to grow the program to serve more Missouri youth.
First Lady Parson has personally visited JAG-Missouri classrooms, encouraging each of the students to take advantage of opportunities, work hard and keep a positive attitude. The Mansion hosts receptions for state contest and for the First Lady Essay Contest. The Foundation provides a clothing/luggage allowance for each student representing Missouri at their national competition. The Foundation also offers grants to JAG-Missouri classrooms.
JAG has been able to double the rate of disadvantaged youth securing jobs; nearly double the rate of higher education enrollment and completion; and triple the rate of securing full-time jobs.
Children with Special Needs
First Lady Teresa Parson is a tireless advocate for children with special needs and their families. Parents should have access to the right resources and be equipped to navigate the challenges that come with caring for a child with special needs. She hosts special events for these children including an Easter Egg Hunt, Lemonade on the Lawn, reading events and Cookies with Santa. Children with special needs have a purpose and role to play in society, when given the opportunities.
In 2022, First Lady Teresa Parson hosted the second annual CommUNITY Service Challenge for Kindergarten through sixth grade students. In 2021, more than 675 students from across Missouri chose to give back to others and their communities by completing service projects during their summer break. The goal is to instill in children a heart for service.
Each child who completes the CommUNITY Service Challenge receives a free t-shirt as a reward for helping others.