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Lilia: Determined to Succeed

By Communities In Schools | April 17, 2023 Graduation

Lilia and her family immigrated to the U.S. from Morocco when Lilia was 15 years old. The family settled in Arlington, Virginia, and Lilia began attending Wakefield High School (WHS), where she was introduced to Communities In Schools® (CIS®) of NOVA and began working with site coordinator Jackie.  

Jackie supported Lilia with one-on-one counseling. During those sessions, they discussed academic, social, and college readiness topics. Jackie also helped Lilia through the entire college application process as well as the financial aid application.  

Jackie's mellow yet confident energy perfectly complemented Lilia's outgoing, kind, and personable personality. When this dynamic duo gets together, they can talk about anything: new music and celebrities, math and history classes, and family and friends.  

When Lilia lost someone in her life, Jackie was there to support her and help her identify other people in her support network, such as her sister and friends, who were also there to help her get through it. Lilia's life experiences made her mature for her age, but she has never lost her joy for life or joie de vivre (in French).  

Lilia's first challenge at her new school was overcoming a language barrier. But Lilia is a go-getter who only stops when she has accomplished her goal. Lilia's first language is French, and she worked hard to learn English in just a year with the support of Jackie to achieve her academic and personal goals. 

Working with Lilia has been a truly rewarding experience. Her resilience and constant drive to grow have not only led to her own personal success but have also helped me to grow as a site coordinator. Lilia was one of the first students I worked with. Watching her overcome challenges and continuously strive for improvement has inspired me to be a better mentor and advocate for all students. It's a privilege to work with such a determined individual, and I have no doubt that she will continue to achieve great things in her future endeavors. 

– Jackie, CIS Site Coordinator

Lilia is extremely motivated and is actively engaged in CIS programs. She participates in the CIS at WHS Social and Emotional Wellness program, peer tutoring, STEM club, afterschool study skills, and attends CIS’s Senior College and Career Readiness Program. She is also in the CIS Seniors for Seniors program, where she is paired with a mentor to support her on her senior project.

Lilia has ambitious goals for life after high school and plans to break barriers in a male-dominated profession by studying aerospace engineering in college. Lilia is motivated to be successful and independent and looks forward to being a stable adult and making her family proud. Students like Lilia help to make the world a better place one day. Jackie reminds Lilia that the world is already better because of people like her.  

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