“Communities in Schools saved my entire life.”
Sasha Hamilton arrived in Greensboro as a 17 year old with her family and with everything they owned in their car. She had .5 credit towards graduation due to excessive transience caused by mom’s migrant work. Other factors that affected her school standing included: a family member lost to crime; her previous home destroyed by fire; living between shelters and hotels. She carried the emotional burden of feeling like events had conspired against her.
A serious conversation with Dr. Fredricca Stokes, her guidance counselor, revealed that the situation did not look promising, and that she was headed towards ” aging out” of the system without a high school diploma. Dr. Stokes promised to develop a plan. The plan led to an introduction to Angie Carter, former director of school to career activities for Communities in Schools ( CIS) Ms. Carter warned Sasha that it was going to be extremely hard, but that she would work with her to implement the plan developed by Dr Stokes. In addition to regular class attendance, the plan would require Sasha to take classes during her lunch period, after school and throughout the summer. Online classes figured prominently in the strategy.
During this time, Ms. Carter provided a pillar of moral and material support, motivation, guidance, and structure. In addition, considering the extremely limited transportation, Ms. Carter would provide the necessary transport for Sasha to meet her responsibilities.
After a year of catching up on her course credits at Dudley, Hamilton still didn’t have enough credits to graduate, Mrs. Stokes got Hamilton into the Middle College at Bennett. Ms. Carter continued to support Hamilton while she was a student at the Middle College at Bennett. Sasha completed two years at the Middle College including more summer classes and finished her high school curriculum! She graduated in the top 5% of her class!
CIS continued to help Sasha after her high school graduation! She determined that she wanted to go to college and in her statement of her college application she demonstrated how CIS helped her. She said, “it only takes one person to care about what’s happening in someone’s life, to listen and help…”
Currently, Hamilton is working towards her full Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LLC SW) credential after graduating with a degree in Psychology and a Masters in Social Work in 2017 from Fayetteville State University.
Many children face challenges both inside and outside the classroom. Through a school-based site coordinator, Communities In Schools strategically aligns and delivers needed resources so that students can focus on learning. It is the only nonprofit proven to keep kids in school and to help them graduate on time. CIS uses a coordinated, individualized approach. That’s what makes us effective, along with robust support from a network of individuals, businesses and organizations!