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Motivated by Mentoring

CIS/Diplomas Now- Boston
Life Skills

Debora’s story is an example of how a mentoring relationship can motivate a student to succeed.

Debora’s story is an example of how a mentoring relationship can motivate a student to succeed.

Debora was a sophomore when she first met Communities In Schools site coordinator Lauren Bard at the English High School in Boston. English High is where CIS is a Diplomas Now partner with Talent Development Secondary at Johns Hopkins and City Year.

Reserved and soft-spoken, Debora became the target of bullies and struggled to make friends. She also struggled in her classes and her attendance started to slip.

“I knew that the right mentor could help Debora find her voice and help motivate her,” said Bard.

So Bard matched Debora with a mentor named Lisa.  They began meeting weekly and got to know one another by cooking and going window shopping.  In time, they developed trust and a friendship. Together they identified Debora’s academic and personal needs and set clear goals.     

"Before I met Lisa, I didn't want to do anything in school.  But she encouraged me to be on time for school and to do my homework.  There are things I could talk to her about and not feel judged that I couldn't talk to anyone else about.”

When Lisa had to move across country, Debora wondered how she would manage without a mentor.

But the two have kept in touch and CIS introduced her to a new mentor, Chelsea who picked up where Lisa left off and began helping Debora set goals for after graduation.    

Today, Debora has clear goals for after high school. She’s looking at several area colleges and will graduate this June with a 93% year-to-date attendance. And she plans on being a mentor herself. Already she’s working with kids at a nearby elementary after school program where she gets to be a role model for younger students.  

“Without CIS I wouldn’t have the motivation that I have now and I wouldn’t have met some of the great people in my life. Ms. Bard has helped me stay on top of my game.”

- May 2015

In Massachusetts