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Emma: A Beacon of Light

Emma: A Beacon of Light

Courtney Lucas, Site Coordinator, CIS of Georgia | Graduation Mental Health

When I think of a recent student success story, Emma immediately comes to mind. I met Emma her freshmen year as she was involved in the same civic clubs as my daughter. Emma was always a sweet, bubbly, outgoing student who maintained academic success and social engagement amongst her peers. Although Emma was not a CIS student, she would frequent my classroom to greet me daily.  

One day the unthinkable occurred. A terrible car accident occurred that drastically changed her life and Emma was devastated. Having already built that foundation of rapport with her, she knew she had a support system in place through CIS. We were able to build on that by offering her weekly clinical therapy to process it all.  

We offered Emma a safe space she could go to throughout her school day when feeling overwhelmed and provided her and her family basic resources as needed. Over the past two years we’ve had the opportunity to walk with Emma through very hard times on top of everything else that the world as a collective has been enduring through this pandemic. 

During the following year, Emma experienced even more challenges in her home life, but her resilience was astounding. Through the many ups and downs, we have been able to share rewarding moments like helping her get her first job, getting accepted into college, and sharing her story with others who experienced similar traumas.  

We are very proud of Emma and how far she has come considering the storms she’s weathered. She is truly a beacon of light as well as an amazing story of hope and success. Emma is most proud of being able to graduate and earn her high school diploma this upcoming May.  

After graduation Emma plans on attending Young Harris College where she will study elementary education to pursue her career as a teacher.

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