The Smith-Cotton High School Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) program received fame and fortune on Friday, Sept. 10.

Missouri JAG Executive Director Paul Kincaid presented S-C JAG advisor Amanda Harvey with a certificate recognizing the S-C program as one of 15 Missouri schools to earn the JAG National “5 of 5” award for meeting or exceeding the five key performance measures identified by JAG for traditional high school programs: graduation rate, employment rate, total in full-time employment, total in full-time positive outcome, and further education rate and completed credential.

Smith-Cotton JAG also is a recipient of the Tyson Foods Partnership Project and received a $10,000 grant, which was presented to Harvey and her students by Ben McFarlin, human resources manager for Tyson Foods’ plant in Sedalia.

McFarlin talked with the students about being open-minded about higher education and job opportunities, and understanding the options available to them.

“The important thing is to be doing something that you want to do, because you are not going to be happy if you are doing something you don’t want to do,” McFarlin said. “If you dread getting up and going to work every day, that’s not a good outlook on life.” Harvey is working to develop a partnership between the JAG program and Tyson, and expressed gratitude for the company’s involvement. "Tyson brought a big check, and we offer an even bigger thank you,” she said.

“We are very fortunate to have Tyson Foods in our community and I look forward to working with them to expose students to the opportunities their company offers." The Tyson grant will be used to help cover JAG program expenses. “For example, we'll be using the money to help pay for trips when students tour area businesses and industries, and for supplies needed for projects in the JAG classroom that help students learn soft skills needed when employed,” Harvey said. “We'll be doing a lot of activities this year to make sure the JAG students are prepared to succeed after they graduate."

In the photos: McFarlin, right, human resources manager for Tyson Foods’ plant in Sedalia, presents a check for $10,000 to Amanda Harvey, advisor for Smith-Cotton High School’s Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) program, and a collection of her JAG students on Friday, Sept. 10, at S-C High.

The grant is from the Tyson Foods Partnership Project. 5of5: Missouri JAG Executive Director Paul Kincaid, right, presents SC JAG advisor Amanda Harvey with a certificate recognizing the S-C program for earning the JAG National “5 of 5” award

Sedalia School District 200