Whitney had been kicked out of school and was leaning on drugs and alcohol for support but is now on a path towards graduation and law school.
Whitney Cole was raised by her grandparents. When her grandfather passed away, Whitney didn’t have the support of her mother, a substance abuser, and started to unravel. Whitney and her grandmother moved from Mississippi to Las Vegas for a fresh start, but Whitney’s issues followed her to Las Vegas as well. She became involved with a bad crowd, was kicked out of school and spent her days on the street- facing the same issues that plagued her mother by turning to drugs and alcohol for the support she felt she needed.
When Whitney returned to school, she met site coordinator Ashley Burney, of Communities In Schools of Nevada, in her Junior year at Cimarron-Memorial High School. Whitney had been designated as one of 400 at-risk students who would take part in the programs and services offered by Communities In Schools of Nevada. Burney noticed Whitney right away and made a vow to help her succeed. Burney eventually earned Whitney’s trust and they worked together to turn Whitney’s reputation around and make up the seven credits that she was lacking through online classes so she could achieve her goal of attending law school.
In March, 2014, Whitney received a letter in the mail announcing she had been selected to attend a conference for prospective law students at Stanford University. The letter did not say who nominated Whitney, but she knew Burney was behind it. Now, in her senior year of high school, Whitney has more than made up for her missing credits and will graduate in June with an advanced diploma and a 3.5 GPA.
UPDATE APRIL 2015: Whitney has been accepted to Northern Arizona University and will continue her education in the Fall.