ROCKFORD (WREX) — Students in Rockford Public Schools head back to school next week, and Alignment Rockford is making sure every high school senior has someone they can count on.
"There's so many options for them to see and understand, giving them that career awareness and those options to see what their future could be like is extremely important," says Jessica Hayes, Alignment Rockford Work Base Learning Coordinator.
As the pandemic began to take shape, the organization quickly realized it wouldn't be able to host in-person experiences or workshops for students.
So leaders decided to create an enhanced remote learning opportunity.
With the new virtual program, high school students will now have access to virtual tours of area businesses and participate in virtual panel discussions and mock interviews. Seniors will have access to a mentor to ensure they have the support and information needed to graduate.
"Some students are still e-learning from home and they need to have that help to guide them, mentor them, and make sure they're getting everything they need," says Hayes.
One of those organizations helping create a virtual content for the program is Habitat for Humanity.
"Mentoring is such a crucial part of the learning experience and its not necessarily something you get in a classroom," says Executive Director Keri Asevedo.
Asevedo is also volunteering as a mentor for the senior mentorship program.
She say especially right now, its important students are exposed to different career paths, allowing them to think beyond their current situation and look towards the future.
"There's something really exciting about being able to build a relationship with a student and then watch them through their successes."
Alignment Rockford is still looking for more mentors and area businesses to participate in its virtual program.
Click here if you would like to get involved.