Graduation is different for all student, but between the laughter, tears and bittersweet farewells, outgoing high schoolers almost always feel ecstatic at the prospects of moving forward.
At Communities In Schools of Durham, our student's greatest milestone is our greatest achievement. And this year, we had a lot to celebrate with the exceptional CIS class of 2015 as they began a new chapter of their lives.
Escorted by his mother across stage, Thomas graduated on Tuesday, June 9th, from the Durham Performance Learning Center. Teachers recognized Thomas for his strong work ethic and positive attitude. He plans to attend Durham Tech in the fall—and credits working with his CIS Graduation Coach for that.
“[CIS of Durham] helped push me to go through school and graduate,” Thomas says.
CIS works tirelessly to ensure that students succeed and do well in high school. Beyond helping students achieve academically, our Coaches work to ensure that students are well-rounded individuals who have the resources to be accomplished adults after graduation. This school year, CIS Graduation and Success Coaches spent about 35% of their time working individually with students, and 47% of all one-on-one time for high school Coaches was spent on college and career preparation for students. Though graduation may be the end of a student's journey with CIS of Durham, we know it's just the beginning of their own path to success.
A graduating senior from Northern High School, Adana plans to attend Winston Salem State University and wants to become a social worker—dreams she didn't think would come true until her CIS Coach, LeJuan Walker, began working with her.
“He is the one that helped me graduate. ... He has talked to me, motivated me,” Adana says. “He helped me understand and plan my life and what I needed to do.”
Sheryl graduated from Northern High School and plans to pursue a certified nursing assistant certification and transfer to Winston Salem State University. Decked out in her cap and gown at graduation, Sheryl explained to her mother how Mr. Walker and CIS were instrumental in helping her succeed.
“[Mr. Walker] helped with stuff outside of school so it doesn’t effect what’s within school, so we talk about a lot of stuff,” Sheryl says. She says her Graduation Coach helped her build the consistency of going to class and stay on track for graduation.
Most of all, our seniors boil down the impact of working with their CIS Graduation Coach to one thing: someone to talk to. It's that one-on-one relationship with a caring adult that changed the picture for Thomas, Adana, Sheryl, and the rest of our 2015 seniors.