IALR’s Advanced Learning division ended another successful year of organizing the SOVA Career Choice Youth Expo with two celebratory events—a gratitude luncheon for volunteers and rewards for select participating students.

About 85 volunteers, employers, sponsors and school division representatives attended a December luncheon hosted by IALR where they viewed the premier of the 2018 event video and a slideshow recognizing their contributions. Dr. Julie Brown, Director of IALR’s Advanced Learning division, voiced a special thanks to the Career Expo planning committee members, including the Career & Technical Education Directors from each of the participating school divisions and the Olde Dominion Agricultural Complex. Dr. Sue Magliaro of Virginia Tech also shared a data summary of participating students’ and adults’ survey responses, highlighting that more than 80 percent of participating students value the Expo experience and opportunity to learn about good jobs in Southern Virginia.

Students were recently rewarded for their participation in this exploratory exhibition of career fields, which also included pre- and post-Expo surveys to gauge the impact of the event on career path interests. Photos follow of some of the winning students.

Principal Tiffiny Gravely and Ricaya Martin from Bassett High School
Danville Public Schools Career & Technology Education Coordinator Joyce Culley and Aniyah Carter from Bonner Middle School
Tiffany Tuck from Chatham High School and Pittsylvania County Schools Career & Technical Education Director Angela Rigney
Angela Rigney with Noel Word and Principal Julia Boles from Chatham Middle School
Principal Carter Lowry and Kayanna Hall from Gretna Middle School
Mason Fisher from Halifax Middle School
Justin Ford from Laurel Park Middle School
Adrian Dannegger from Magna Vista High School
Business Services Manager Robbie Knight of Virginia Career Works West Piedmont and Omarion Hairston from Martinsville High School
Gia Tinsley and Principal Cynthia Tarpley from Martinsville Middle School
Assistant Principal Ed Newnam, Principal Brian Boles, Andrew Lovelace and Assistant Principal Lisa Totten from Tunstall High School
Principal Kirsten Harper and Jayden Cassady from Tunstall Middle School

For the fifth year, IALR, in partnership with area K-12 Career and Technical Education Directors, organized the Career Expo for middle and high school students as a way to expose them to area employers, available occupations and training required for career paths. In 2018, 4,106 students from 27 schools and seven school divisions participated. The 2019 event will be held Sept. 24-26. Those interested in participating can contact Jessie Vernon at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (434) 766-6772 for more information.




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