Inner Strength by Communities In Schools of North Carolina
Finding the Leader in Me
To many, Trevor was just another angry kid who would either barely make it through school with multiple absences or drop out because of poor behavior. Not too many people knew his story, including the chapters filled with a succession of personal losses.
Ms. Scott, a Communities In Schools (CIS) student support specialist, didn’t need to know the whole story. She saw a student with a bright future in the making, and took an early step that would change the picture of education for Trevor. Early during Trevor’s first year of high school, Ms. Scott invited him to lunch.
"I saw immediately, Trevor had so much potential,” she said. “I needed to expose him to as many things as I could because you can’t be what you can’t see.”
At the age of 5, Trevor lost his mother after being placed in foster care. Then, the foster mother who had given him drive and encouragement died during his critical transition from middle school to high school. Recovering from another major loss, Trevor left middle school with little motivation for his future — one that did not include a walk across the stage to receive a high school diploma or a walk across a college campus.
“I didn’t have the drive to do what I needed to finish school or go to college,” Trevor said. “But Ms. Scott saw the leader in me. She helped me learn how to be dependable, to do what I say.”
Communities In Schools provided Trevor with a personalized toolkit for success: a mentor, tutors and early exposure to college campuses. The organization also helped him gain access to the right classes, among so many other benefits.
“CIS gave me that one-on-one time — that connection,” Trevor said.
The result: a soon-to-be-graduate. Trevor is a leader in his high school and in his Junior ROTC unit. He’s completing applications for college in the fall and plans to pursue a degree in social work. He wants to change the picture for other students like Communities In Schools did for him.
“Every student should be part of this program (CIS) and the support it provides,” Trevor said. “I refused to let stress rule me, and now I’m going to help others.