Virtual Academy at Goodwill Youth HQ helping the community find normalcy

Digital Originals

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — When the manager of Goodwill Youth HQ Nicole Ross heard that Roanoke City Public Schools (RCPS) would be going to remote education this school year, she reached out to see how Goodwill Youth HQ could help.

“We’re able to actually walk through the students’ classes with them and answer questions that they need and even setup times with their teachers if they’re having a little trouble, we can do that here at this facility.”

Nicole Ross – Manager – Goodwill Youth Center

Through funding afforded by the CARES Act and a partnership with the City of Roanoke, Roanoke City Public Schools, and United Way, the Goodwill Youth HQ has been able to provide a safe structured facility to families in need of a bit of normalcy.

“We wanted to offer that sense of normalcy because things have changed dramatically and this is the new norm, and the school system is talking about the trauma-informed training so we’re doing all those things. Like I said we’re providing a service not only to the youth but also to their families as a whole.”

Nicole Ross – Manager – Goodwill Youth Center

The Virtual Academy at Youth HQ kicked off Aug. 31, the day Roanoke City Public Schools began its remote education.

“First and foremost, parents most are still going back to work, so we had to provide a space for kids to be during the day because they aren’t going to school right now. So, the supervision of a vetted staff that they can come in and work in an environment that safe and supportive was really important to us.”

Stephanie Hoer – Senior Director, Program Services – Goodwill Industries

Keeping with COVID-19 guidelines, Goodwill Youth HQ has the capacity to serve 45 students in the Roanoke City Public School system. There are still several openings for middle and high school students within Roanoke City Public Schools.

“We have a large space here and we were really easily and pretty quickly able to put into place the safety protocols that we needed in order to operate successfully and allow kids to spread out and wear their masks and socially distance, but yet still also get the support that they needed from our staff.”

Stephanie Hoer – Senior Director, Program Services – Goodwill Industries

If you would like to find more information and/or enroll your student, click here.

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