Contributed by David de la Fuente, Executive Director for Communities in Schools Kent
Communities In Schools of Kent (CIS Kent) celebrated their 25th anniversary serving students in the Kent School District as part of their annual fundraising breakfast on Thursday, May 19th. Over 200 community members gathered at Kent Phoenix Academy, helping to raise well over $42,000 to help students succeed in school.
The highlight of the event was hearing the stories shared by people directly impacted by the services provided by CIS Kent. Angelica, a 7th grade student at Mill Creek along with her mother, Kelly, shared that Angelica had attended many schools prior to entering Mill Creek This Fall. The family had experienced homelessness and Angelica had missed a lot of school. Since this school year started, and they connected with Marit Murry, CIS Kent Site Coordinator, Kelly has a job, Angelica is attending school regularly, but most importantly they feel supported by the community they have found at Mill Creek, and they credit Marit.
Jonathan from Kent-Meridian, shared that during his first few years of high school he made some bad choices. Since being matched with his mentor Jason, he has been able to make better choices, get his grades up, and is now on track to graduate on time. Jamoni, from Kentlake, shared that the support from Aaron Benson, the CIS Kent Site Coordinator, helped him overcome challenges he had experienced including some time in juvenile detention; he is now on track to graduate this year.
Tre, from Kent Phoenix Academy, highlighted some of the ways the Site Coordinators, Karen Hauck and TeyAnjulee Leon, have helped him. Paper, pens, folders, a back pack; these things were supplied when he started. He was matched with a mentor. He was able to complete a job shadow and a four-week everyday finance workshop. All of these things are helping him prepare to graduate, but also to be prepared for life after graduation.
Ronald Moore, CIS Kent Board member and City of Kent City Clerk said it well, “Create your own good news.” Communities In Schools has been quietly creating good news in our community for 25 years. With Site Coordinators currently serving 8 schools, thousands of students in the Kent School District are impacted by the connections and services that CIS Kent brings into these schools. If you would like to learn more about how to donate, or how to get involved visit the Communities In Schools web site at kent.ciswa.org