Our work together is about connections: The handshake. The hands-on. The in-person, real-world experiences that create “a-ha” moments for high school students searching for career inspiration.

This structure is challenged right now, under the social distancing requirements of COVID-19. Yet the community’s desire for connection remains strong, and the need to support high school students is greater than ever.

Our nonprofit is adapting to this new reality, and we invite you to join with us to fulfill the mission of helping ALL students prepare for college and career.

Here at PWA’s virtual headquarters, we are working on “Expo2Go,” in response to educator and employer interest in bringing the NW Youth Careers Expo online. We’re exploring new ways to connect students with industry professionals virtually. We’re also developing resources that could be used for self-guided learning or as supplements to teacher-led instruction.

This will take time: Schools are triaging to meet students’ basic needs, and employers are under tremendous strain as well. We’re all learning as we go. But PWA’s mission remains the same – to serve as a bridge between high schools and employers, and find meaningful, doable ways for the community to support students.

If you’d like to be involved, please contact Ave Rio. Volunteers are needed to help us refine Expo2Go, pilot new forms of virtual engagement, and keep equity and access at the forefront as we innovate. We welcome your caring heart and expertise, whether it’s in making virtual connections or “real-life” ones.

Words of gratitude

We want to thank our partners serving on the front lines of this global pandemic. They include Legacy Health, Kaiser Permanente, Oregon Health & Science University, Oregon Nurses Association, Portland Fire & Rescue, Multnomah County and many others. The community owes you a deep debt of gratitude.

Finally, we want to say thank you for the outpouring of support following the tough decision to cancel the NW Youth Careers Expo and PWA Expo Breakfast due to potential health risks. Special thanks to the partners sticking with as sponsors, which helps us keep our doors open and continue our year-round work. (Please see all 2020 sponsors here.)

PWA April 2020: Students need support more than ever
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