Celebrating graduates joining the workforce: 'I'm doing something productive and will make my parents proud'

Posted at 11:20 AM, May 24, 2023

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — Career and Technical Education students and their families celebrated Letter-of-Intent Signing Day in Henrico County on Tuesday, May 23.

The event, which began in 2018 and quickly went viral, mirrored letters-of-intent signing day ceremonies for college-bound athletes. This ceremony honors "high school seniors who have earned industry credentials."

Henrico CTE Signing Day

"HCPS seniors entering the workforce with industry credentials will sign letters-of-intent, along with representatives of their future employers," a Henrico Schools spokesperson wrote in an email. "The letters outline what students must do before and during employment, what the employer will provide in pay and training, and an estimate of the position’s value. As with signing day for athletes, students will don a hat or clothing with the employer’s logo."

Graduates, like Silvio Pontes, said the ceremony helped them feel accomplished.

"It's something I've worked these past three years for and given my all," Pontes said. "Being able to know that I'm going somewhere after high school and doing something with my life that's productive and that will make my parents proud, that's pure happiness to me."

Henrico CTE Signing Day
Silvio Pontes signs his letter of intent

Henrico's signing day event has inspired similar events at high schools around the country.

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