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Spreading the Love

Jan. 2, 2019 Academic Assistance Alumni Mentoring

With the support of CIS, our students stay in school, graduate and go on to bright futures. They all have a story about their journey to who they are today. Alumna Keyona shares hers.

In 11th grade, I heard my peers talk about their GPA, and I couldn't add to their conversation because I didn’t know the importance of my GPA.

I was more focused on my outside surroundings than being in school. I dropped out of high school with a 1.5 GPA my junior year. I felt defeated, broken and depressed.

Some family members lost hope in my potential as well as in my future. I did, too, until I enrolled in the Communities In Schools Mosley Performance Learning Center and was introduced to my site coordinator Marrio Jeter.

At first, I didn't appreciate his help. Then I started noticing he cared. He cared about my grades, my attendance and most of all the hardships I faced outside of school.

He introduced me to the word “college” despite my poor GPA. With the support and relationships of my site coordinator and my community, I graduated from high school and was accepted to college in Raleigh, N.C. Marrio introduced me to the CIS affiliate in Raleigh, and I met some amazing women who became my mentors.

CIS showed me love always, wherever I lived, and I am blessed beyond measure to have so many amazing adults inside and outside of school who believed in me, motivated me, and trusted me to change my future.

It was a struggle for me to form positive relationships, but CIS taught me the true meaning of how to address my emotions and academics. I am a first-generation college student, and I earned my bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

I couldn’t have accomplished any of this without the guidance of CIS. My friendships changed, my mindset changed, and my future changed. CIS believed in the future me. I may have been the first in my family to attend college, but I won’t be the last.

My younger siblings look up to me, and I know that I must continue to be a positive role model for young men and women. I know that it is my purpose to spread the love of CIS.

I am now a site coordinator at CIS of Tennessee at Memphis, paying it forward to my elementary school students. Each day they know I have their back and that CIS will protect their future. I enjoy being the smile, hug and guidance that CIS was for me and tens of thousands of other students.

- January 2019

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