Before becoming a part of the CIS family, Jalen had neither the resources he needed to succeed in school, nor clearly set goals in place to help him achieve.
“You have to maintain focus, put in the work, and cannot let anything distract you from your goals,” says high school senior Jalen. Once a student with low attendance and a low GPA, Jalen’s perspective has undergone a major shift with the help of Communities In Schools coordinator Mr. Parker.
Before becoming a part of the CIS family, Jalen had neither the resources he needed to succeed in school, nor clearly set goals in place to help him achieve. As a result, Jalen struggled to find his voice at school which led to poor communication with his teachers which perpetuated a cycle of low grades. Mr. Parker held Jalen accountable, keeping track of his attendance and grades. Mr. Parker also introduced Jalen to numerous small groups, including The Gentlemen’s League: a male-only group that focuses on etiquette, social skills and chivalry, all qualities that led Jalen to earning the title of both Mr. Sophomore and Mr. Junior, as well as becoming a finalist for Mr. Creekside High School
With the help of CIS and Mr. Parker, Jalen has found his voice, becoming a leader in his school’s band. This will be his first year as drum major, and he earned his spot as first chair trombone. Not only has Jalen focused on his high school career, but he has also started taking initiative towards his future by taking numerous college trips with Mr. Parker, including meeting the band director for Alabama State with whom he discussed potential scholarships with.
After college, Jalen dreams of following in his father’s and uncle’s footsteps by becoming a U.S Marshall. At a Communities In Schools luncheon, he was able to meet with many adults who had valuable connections in his field of interest. In the future, Jalen is hoping to take a trip to D.C soon to meet with these individuals and gain hand-on experiences. Upon reflection, Jalen says Mr. Parker has helped him learn to “get out there and put in the work to do what you really want to do.”