The alum program has about 164 participants in college, tech schools or the military. They’re supported with funds to cover tuition and transportation costs, provided they maintain a 2.5 GPA and come back to do community service work. During the lockdown, alums visited schools to give out food.
“That helps us pull more kids out of the circle of poverty and builds philanthropists who look like the kids we’re serving,” said Brown.
Mya Schofield, a 2018 Langston Hughes High alum, graduated in May from South Carolina’s Benedict College with CSI’s support. The Fairburn native became part of CSI in 10th grade when her attendance began to falter.
“I was constantly tardy or absent, probably because I was a class president, into cheering and over-involved,” she said. “CIS played a big role for me, and not just making sure I was going to class. They exposed me to so much and encouraged me to mentor other students, too.”
Schofield’s CIS mentor encouraged her to apply to Benedict, where she received a full scholarship. “I’m glad he pushed me to my full potential,” she said. “It showed me there’s a world beyond 285. I think a lot of students say that about CIS. It’s been a great help financially and professionally.”
Schofield plans to spend a year as a Capitol Hill intern before attending law school, and her ultimate goal is to be Atlanta’s mayor. Along the way, she’ll be volunteering with CIS.
“I owe it to myself and to other students coming through CIS to be part of the alumni program,” she said.
Information about CIS is online at communitiesinschool.org.
SEND US YOUR STORIES. Each week we look at programs, projects and successful endeavors at area schools, from pre-K to grad school. To suggest a story, contact H.M. Cauley at email@example.com or 770-744-3042.