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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. Alumnus Fredrick shares his.

Labeled an at-risk student, I first turned to Communities In Schools of Troup County in Georgia when I was in seventh grade. My teacher noticed that I couldn’t see the front of the classroom and recommended me to CIS. Little did I know, the services offered would change my life forever.

As a child, I had to overcome insurmountable obstacles. I lived in impoverished neighborhoods, struggled daily for survival and experienced physical abuse. At home, I lacked water, sometimes went without electricity in the home, and food was scarce. All of this affected my academic success and resulted in poor reading and writing skills, low test scores and grades, misconduct and anger problems. 

After joining CIS, I was provided with a vast amount of services and opportunities. First, I had a phenomenal site coordinator, Ms. Cynthia Bryant, who was like a mother to me. We became very close, and I was privileged to be in her wedding.

Unfortunately, she passed away a few years ago. I was honored to be given the opportunity to speak at her funeral to attest to her great leadership. Through her leadership, I attained a voucher to receive my first pair of glasses, dental care and vision work, and health insurance. 

I enrolled in the CIS afterschool program and received tutoring to enhance my literacy skills. I received mentoring and attended anger management counseling. My confidence grew and so did my public speaking skills through speaking competitions and my involvement in leadership training opportunities.

With the assistance of CIS, I had the ability to navigate through high school, college and life. By increasing my competencies, I graduated high school and attended college with a scholarship and had the opportunity to speak at the Georgia State Capitol.

I started Fredrick Bailey Enterprises, where I believe in equipping individuals through my writings, mentoring and speaking opportunities, to be agents of change. I am most proud of the key role I played in the development of the African American Male Initiative at Gordon State College in Barnesville, Georgia.

As a student success coach, I assisted many students with achieving their goals. I also worked as an educational program specialist at Georgia State University with the TRIO Student Support Services program. Currently, I work at the CIS national office as the first ever Milliken Fellow, a position for one alumnus each year to tackle a public policy development project or problem of practice related to Integrated Student Supports.

- January 2019

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