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Starting a New Path from an Unclear Beginning

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Ananda has been able to have additional support during times of transition and change, which has allowed her to be successful and gain leadership abilities.

Change is a natural part of life, but it can be intimidating for a 13-year-old girl moving from the hills of Pennsylvania to coastal California.

“Will I like my new home? Will I love my new school? Will I meet new friends?” were all the questions that floated around in Ananda’s mind when the decision was made for her to move and live with her dad. It was the beginning of her sixth-grade year when Ananda learned that she would be making the big change.

Ananda lived with her mom and four siblings in Pennsylvania until she was 10 years old, and didn’t have many female role models in her life. To help with the transition, she got connected with Communities In Schools of Los Angeles.

To bring female role models into her life, CIS has been able to support Ananda’s active membership in Ladies First. She has been a member of Ladies First since its inception during her sixth-grade year in 2013. Since then Ananda has gained leadership skills and increased her self-esteem by participating in the Girls Build LA challenge. Ananda, along with the rest of the Ladies First students, have increased leadership and civic engagement by planning a Girls Empowerment banquet for their seventh-grade class.

Currently, Ananda is in the eighth grade and has been in CIS since 2013, her sixth-grade year, while continuing to be an active leader in Ladies First. Ananda is a Webster and CIS student leader; she will be participating in this year’s Girls Build LA Challenge to bring STEM and college access to Webster. Ananda has continued to demonstrate being a student leader as she’s received Student of the Month. She also made the honor roll, and participates in school wide events, especially as an athlete in a community basketball team.

One day, Ananda dreams of playing basketball professionally in the WNBA. 

- January 2017

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