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Mission: Graduate, APS and Partners Host Career Day at Rio Grande High School

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Sept. 21, 2018                                            

United Way of Central New Mexico: Jeanette Brahl, 505.975.7557
Albuquerque Public Schools: Monica Armenta, 505.880.3734

Eighth Grade Students Will Meet with Employers   

Albuquerque, NM – Mission: Graduate, the education initiative of United Way of Central New Mexico, in partnership with Albuquerque Public Schools’ (APS) Rio Grande High School, is hosting eighth-grade students from Ernie Pyle, Harrison, and Polk middle schools at the second annual Pride to Profession South Valley Career Day. It will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Sept. 21, 2018, at Rio Grande High School. Students will tour the campus, participate in a career fair where they’ll speak with professionals from 25 different organizations, and have in-depth conversations with professionals during breakout sessions.

Providing opportunities for young students where they can learn about various types of jobs and careers that are available is an important early step for them,” says Angelo Gonzales, United Way of Central New Mexico’s Chief Strategy Officer. “Developing a general idea about what they might want to do after graduation gives students something to strive toward and helps them make the connection with what they’re learning in the classroom and how their knowledge and skills can be used in the working world.”

The long-term goal is to expose all students to the various types of jobs in our community and then help them build the skills they need to do those jobs right here in our community.

Events like this can be game changers. Creating a space where middle schoolers can dream beyond a diploma and interact with professionals willing to introduce them to career opportunities is invaluable,” says Raquel Reedy, Superintendent of APS. “Professionals who give their time also gain new insights and perspectives about future hires. APS is grateful to Mission:  Graduate for helping our students explore career possibilities.”

After the 2017 Career Day, 79 percent of students who responded to surveys reported that they were thinking about college or vocational classes after high school as compared to 60 percent before.

Pride to Profession South Valley Career Day is one element in Mission: Graduate’s strategy to increase the number of career exploration opportunities available to students in central New Mexico. In February, 370 Albuquerque students participated in Groundhog Job Shadow Week and in March, 400 students from Valencia County schools participated in similar activities.

Mission: Graduate is a cradle-to-career partnership consisting of educators, local employers, educational support providers, government leaders and citizens who are committed to a goal of 60,000 new graduates with college degrees and certificates in central New Mexico by the year 2020. Mission: Graduate is an initiative of the United Way of Central New Mexico. #60Kby2020

United Way of Central New Mexico, founded in 1934, serves a four-county region. UWCNM’s mission is to bring people and resources together to measurably improve lives and strengthen our communities. To learn more, visit or call 505-247-3671.