Zellua Sistrunk-Moore joined Communities In Schools of Durham in August 2013 as the Graduation Coach at Durham Performance Learning Center, a nontraditional, credit-recovery high school. Zellua shares what brought her to CIS and what she hopes to accomplish in the upcoming semester in a Q&A:
What brought you to Communities In Schools of Durham?
Before this, I was an undergraduate studying social work and was the social work intern at the Performance Learning Center. I had an opportunity to work with the person in this position prior to me. When she decided to go back to grad school, I immediately applied.
What drew you to this line of work?
Even when I went back to school for social work, I always knew it would be in a school setting. I think it was because I had a high schooler and there were some times she needed support services and it was just so hard to navigate the system and find people to help me advocate for her.
What are some of your proudest or happiest achievements at PLC?
My happiest achievements as a Graduation Coach have been graduating kids that the district decided could not get that high school diploma before they came to this nontraditional school setting and did really well. I love seeing a kid someone said couldn't graduate actually get their diploma.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work, I'm a football, baseball, basketball girl. My husband and I can usually be found at some sporting event. And I've got a a student who is a freshman in college and a two-year old.
What are your goals for the next school semester?
I hope to come up with a way to combat the chronic absenteeism we have with our kids.I'm trying to get creative in working with the district and our school on ways to encourage our kids to come to school and then give them some tools to sustain themselves once they get their diploma.