These are real stories about real students served by Communities In Schools of Walton County. The names and photos are representative.
MIRANDA’S STORY: At 16, Miranda was a good student, active in student organizations and on track to graduate. At 17, she was newly married, mother to a baby girl and had no diploma in sight. The CIS Site Coordinator at her school enrolled her in the 21st Century Community Learning Center where she could use credit recovery and online classes to catch up. CIS helped her find resources to manage her new responsibilities at home, and with lots of support, Miranda worked hard and completed six classes. She walked with her class on graduation night and now works in a local doctor’s office. When the baby is a little older, she plans to attend Athens Tech and become an ultrasound technician.
ENRIQUE’S STORY: When Enrique returned to Walnut Grove High School from Thanksgiving break, the temperature outside was in the 30’s. Noticing that Enrique had no jacket, his teacher sent him to visit the CIS Site Coordinator. The coordinator learned that the power had been turned off at Enrique’s house, and there was no heat. She was able get both a coat for Enrique and assistance with their heating bill. Now he can stop worrying about being cold and keep his attention on keeping up with his school work. He and the Site Coordinator are looking at other ways to help make sure Enrique can always be at school working toward his goals.
SHAMBRIA’S STORY: While other third graders at Social Circle Elementary School play with baby dolls, Shambria cares for real babies, her 18-month and 4-year-old sisters and her 6-year old brother. The four of them live with their grandmother and Shambria helps out dressing and feeding her sisters and helping her brother with school work. Her CIS Site Coordinator knows that school is a challenge, even though she makes good grades. The Site Coordinator checks up on homework, keeps a close eye on attendance and makes sure the family stays connected to community resources. Help with basic needs plus a referral to a program for custodial grandparents have made it easier for Shambria to focus on her goals and stay on track.
DEREK’S STORY: Derek is a bright student at Carver Middle School. He lives with his single mother in a small apartment. Her diabetes puts a strain on their finances and limits her ability to work, so Derek often finds himself with little to eat at home. CIS connected him with the Backpack Buddies program where FISH provides Derek with a parcel of non-perishable high-protein food that he can take home each weekend, when his school-provided free breakfast and lunch are not available. The CIS Site Coordinator has established an Individual Service Plan for Derek where she monitors his attendance and grades, helps him set goals and makes sure he has clothes, school supplies and medical care through a variety of community partners.
KEVIN’S STORY: Kevin will be the first in his family to graduate from high school, but he already goes to college. He told his CIS Site Coordinator at Monroe High School that he wanted to go to technical college and pursue a career in Auto Mechanics, but he didn't know how. His parents support his goals, but lack the experience to guide him. So Kevin and his CIS Site Coordinator explored colleges and the programs they offer, learned how to make admissions applications and found out how to get Kevin the financial aide he needed for college. Now Kevin is dual-enrolled at Athens Technical College, getting high school credit for college courses and a jump-start on his college degree.
BRADLEY’S STORY: Bradley struggled since the early grades. He was bored with school and felt the pace was too slow. Even when his parents enrolled him in a prestigious private school, he just didn’t do well. He set his mind on a career in the Marine Corps, but little did he know that a high school diploma (not a GED) is required! With support from his CIS Site Coordinator, Bradley learned better study skills organization and work habits. After a year of very determined work, Bradley graduated and now proudly serves in our United States Armed Forces.