According to staff reports
The United Way of Southwest Virginia recently honored the Wythe County public school system for its work in ensuring students are prepared for life after graduation.
United Way presented the school system with the Youth Education Partner of the Year Award at its United Way of Southwest Virginia Impact Awards Ceremony held on May 17.
For the first time since 2019, the awards ceremony was held live and in person, honoring outstanding individuals and organizations who serve their communities in the areas of Child Success, Youth Success and Youth Success. community resilience.
The ceremony, held at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon, drew a record crowd of more than 250 community leaders representing communities from Lee County to the New River Valley.
WCPS participated in 100% of United Way’s youth education programs.
“We knocked it out of the park with student and teacher input,” said WCPS assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction Becki James.
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Students and teachers participated in all components of the United Way Ignite program, which includes the Career EXPO, visits from industry educators, use of Major Clarity software for career exploration, summer internships and work-based learning.
The software helps match student interests with potential jobs to help students planning to go to college and those looking to enter the workforce after graduation.
WCPS Superintendent Wesley Poole said educators and staff are working to ensure students graduate with college and career readiness.
Much is geared towards middle schoolers choosing high school classes that will put them on the right path after graduation so that students have the right skills to follow the path they choose.
“Our goal is to make sure that when students leave the school system, they’re ready for college, careers, the military, whatever they choose,” Poole said. “When they leave us, we want them to have everything they need for the next stage.”
“This school system understands that career readiness determines future readiness and strives to help its students succeed in and out of the classroom by remaining proactive in developing their workforce and engaging their students,” said Melinda Leland, director of youth services for The United Way of Southwest Virginia.
Dr. Karen Shelton received the Woman of Distinction Award. Shelton led Mount Rogers, Cumberland Plateau and Lenowisco health districts during the COVID pandemic, leading those districts to have the fastest deployments of COVID testing and vaccinations in Virginia.
American Electric Power was honored as Community Partner of the Year. Food City was honored as a Top Giver.
• Elite Partners: Food City, Ballad Health, Universal Fibers, Utility Trailer: Atkins and Utility Trailer: Glade Spring
• Media partners: Bristol Herald Courier, Business Journal of Tri-Cities TN/VA, Cardinal News, 93.9 WMEV and 101.1 WUKZ, WCYB, WEHC, WJHL, WSLS
• Best Celebrity Bagging Fundraiser: Farris Funeral Service, Inc.
• Partner of the Year – Early Childhood Education: Kristi Snyder
• Partner of the Year – Resilience: Damascus Middle School
• Recognition of Service: Dr. Michael Robinson
• Unsung Heroes: Dr. Tamarah Holmes, Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office, Knox Creek Volunteer Fire Department
“It was wonderful to be able to host this in-person event so we could express our gratitude face-to-face to the people who went above and beyond to make everything we do possible,” said the United Way President and CEO. of Southwest Virginia. Travis Staton. “The circumstances of the past two years that have prevented us from hosting the Impact Awards as a live event in 2020 and 2021 have also made the work of these individuals and organizations much more important and impactful to the people of the South West. of Virginia.”