Twitter logo An icon denoting a twitter profile name or link to Twitter LinkedIn logo An icon denoting a LinkedIn profile or link to LinkedIn Facebook logo An icon denoting a Facebook profile or link to Facebook YouTube logo An icon denoting a YouTube profile or link to YouTube RSS Icon Facebook Icon Google Plus Icon Twitter Icon Instagram Icon YouTube Icon LinkedIn Icon Pinterest Icon Vine Icon Tumblr Icon Telephone An icon of a telephone representing phone numbers Checkmark An icon of a checkmark External Link An icon denoting a link to an external website Email An icon denoting a mailto: link Download An icon denoting a download link Menu Options An icon denoting a dropdown menu Menu Icon File Link An icon denoting a link to a report or file Back Arrow An icon denoting a link back to a parent section Next Icon Previous Icon Search Icon Play Icon Play Icon (Alternate) Academic Assistance Icon Academic Difficulties Icon Advocate Icon Basic Needs Icon Behavioral Interventions Icon Bullying Icon College and Career Prep Icon Enrichment Icon Family Engagement Icon Health Care Icon Incareration Icon Life Skills Icon Mental Health Icon Neglect Icon Physical Health Icon Service Learning Icon Memorial Giving Icon Planned Giving Icon Workplace Giving Icon Stocks and Assets Icon Corporations Icon Foundations Icon Donate Icon Volunteer Icon

Finding Her Way

Communities In Schools of Houston
Enrichment

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. Alumna Talitha shares hers.

Talitha Halley is one young lady who exemplifies so many of the students we work with. Talitha began her incredible journey in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, when her family relocated to Houston from New Orleans. Wrenched from childhood friends and everything she knew, Talitha was shaken but determined to move forward with her life as an eighth grader in Houston.

She and her family were introduced to Communities In Schools of Houston during her freshman year in high school. Her Site Coordinator, Donna Watkins, provided encouragement and the needed resources. Talitha’s confidence increased and she started looking for opportunities to get more involved in school—playing volleyball, serving as student council representative and eventually applying for and getting accepted into the Congressional Page Program. She was thrilled to live, work and study in Washington, D.C., for a semester last year before returning to Sharpstown Senior High. While living in D.C., Talitha attended a Communities In Schools board of directors meeting event and spoke to the crowd about her transformation and the impact the organization has had on her life.

Talitha has now graduated from high school and shared more exciting news: she fell in love with Howard University while living in D.C. and was accepted there for college! She plans to major in political science at Howard. Donna Wotkyns worked with Talitha and her family to obtain funding for tuition.

After being displaced from her home in 2005 and throughout high school, Talitha would tell herself, “God has a plan for me and there must be something better in store.” She had the love and support of her mom, Geneva Halley, and “Miss Donna” to keep her going.

Communities In Schools is often described as a safety net that prevents young people from falling through the cracks. But I think of it also as a bowling alley bumper rail. Or a space shuttle launch crew. Communities In Schools Site Coordinators and volunteers—along with parents, teachers and the larger community—help keep students on a path to their goals while maintaining a really great view of the world.

UPDATE MAY 2015: Talitha pursued her goal of earning a degree in political science from Howard, learn more about where she is now on our blog.

In Texas