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Finding the Silver Lining

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With the support of CIS, our students stay in school, graduate and go on to bright futures. They all have a story about their journey to who they are today. Alumna Raven shares hers.

I find hope in always seeing the bigger picture and brighter side of life. I guess you could say I have a gift for finding the silver lining. It wasn’t until I was older and had time to reflect on the influential programs and people in my life that I realized I had a story.

I was raised by a single mother in a low-income household with an unstable father whom I rarely saw, although he only lived 15 minutes away. My mother did her best to provide me with as many enriching experiences as she could, so I was unaware of just how challenging my childhood was.

I wasn’t academically motivated. I wasn’t sure what I wanted from life, and I didn’t set any goals for myself. I never worked at my full potential, and if you asked my mother she would say I only did enough to get by. All of that began to change when I started working with Communities In Schools of High Point.

I began working with CIS in the eighth grade, and to my surprise my site coordinator, Pridell “Dell” McCormick, also worked at the Boys & Girls Club I attended after school. From the time I met Dell, he served as a surrogate father, providing advice and guidance.

We would discuss different life topics through various activities like chess. Through the extra time I spent with Dell, he inspired me to be active in my community. I wanted to impact the lives of others like he’d impacted mine. To this day Dell is still a father figure, and I visit him often to receive mentoring and guidance on my personal and professional life and marriage. Dell impacted my life so much so, that I find myself following in his footsteps. I am currently employed as a CIS site coordinate at the same middle school where Dell served as my site coordinator.

With the help of CIS, I have developed into a well-rounded young professional. I am a first-generation college graduate, a mother of two boys, and the wife of my fantastic husband who is also a product of CIS. Through CIS I’ve learned that my passion is providing opportunities to students to broaden their perspective on life in the hope they can see the silver lining just as I did.  

- January 2019

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