The Success Option

Knowing one's options is the first step in choosing the best path, and 25 students at Monroe Area High School will soon discover options they may not have seen before.

Students enrolled in the System of Care, a partnership among Walton County Public Schools, The Partnership for Families Children and Youth, Athens Tech and Communities In Schools, will be part of an extensive workforce prep, college access and career exploration program offered at the school. The program is funded through a grant from the Governor's Office of Children and Families.

At a kick-off dinner sponsored by Monroe First Baptist Church, motivational speaker Ellen Hester appeared as the character Dr. Choice, Optionist, to inspire the enrolled students and their families to exercise the option to succeed in school and in life.

As a partner in the program, Communities In Schools will offer a 10-week seminar series, Prepared, Polished and Professional, offering training on the soft skills that are necessary to find and keep a job, such as appropriate dress, business etiquette, interviewing skills, resume writing, selecting and applying to colleges, and applying for financial aid.

Throughout the program, students will have access to CIS Career Coaches, adults who volunteer to be matched with students based on career interest to provide one-to-one advice, guidance and information on opportunities in their fields.

The program will culminate with the Career and College Expo in April. This event, organized by Communities In Schools and the Walton County Chamber, gathers businesses and colleges in an exhibit where students can explore careers and investigate college options. Following the expo, students will attend the CIS donor recognition luncheon, where they will network with donors and exhibitors and put their new business skills to the test.

Seminars begin January 25, and volunteers are needed to serve as Career Coaches and Expo exhibitors. If you would like to participate contact Ivy Corder, CIS Site Coordinator for MAHS at

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