"Opportunity Knocks" Event to Showcase Opportunities After High School

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Robert E. Lee High School Robert E. Lee High School
Staunton school leaders are kicking off an event this weekend to help students and families figure out what's out there after high school graduation. Opportunity Knocks is an outreach event going on Saturday to share the wealth of opportunities available to students. 

School leaders say there's more than one path to success, and they want to open doors to young minds.

"What it takes to get your foot in the door, and to really explore some of the career opportunities that we have here, because we actually have a goldmine in our area,” said Mark Rexrode, school counseling director at Lee High School.

Whether it's college, career or military, Rexrode says it's his mission to guide students and their families to the future.

"There's not one avenue to be successful in life. I think we're trying to highlight some other options,” said Rexrode.

Through the Opportunity Knocks program, organizers have brought in movers and shakers in the community to make presentations in a fair-style forum.

"Even college might be a great option, but maybe not right after high school. Maybe a few years down the road, you get a good skill, combine that with an education,” said Rexrode.

Rexrode's sister, Carla van DeVander, also works in Staunton schools and shares his vision to open doors and the eyes of kids to the world of possibilities.

"It takes a village to raise a child,” said van DeVander, differentiation specialist for Staunton City Schools.

They say they hope this also creates a pipeline of enthusiastic employees prepared to contribute to the workforce.

"We wanted input from those outside of schools. 'OK, what do you see, what do we need to address?'” said van DeVander.

Van DeVander says this is a movement that will stretch beyond this weekend.

"We're not just having one event. There's lots of little feelers that have come out of this that we're hoping to build on and every year add another component until this is something that transcends where we are now,” said van DeVander.

The event takes place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Booker T. Washington Community Center. Those who show up can enter to win door prizes, and food and daycare will also be provided.

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