Through our new Ignite program, we work to spark interests in students’ career opportunities, because we all want youth who are ready to enter and advance in the workplace in Southwest Virginia. We make real-life career application and learning possible through community connections as we bridge schools and students with employers and employees.

One aspect of Ignite helps teachers identify tools and resources they may be able to use to help address concerns with attendance and behavior. Just as schools expect students to show up daily prepared, ready to learn, willing to follow instructions, and behaving a certain way, employers have those same standards they expect employees to follow. Making this connection with middle and high school students is imperative as they are preparing for their future education and career.

Attendance and behavior may seem like short-term issues, but they can have long-term effects if they continue without being addressed. According to, “Even one year of chronic absence can cause a child to fall behind academically and decrease a child’s chances of graduating from high school, which can have long-term consequences on their financial independence, physical well-being, and mental health.”

Find out how your school or organization can become involved in job shadowing, mentoring, or career demonstrations through Ignite. Contact Crystal Breeding, Ignite Program Manager, at or 276-628-2160, or visit


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