Even during these difficult pandemic times, Communities in Schools (CIS) has continued to provide help and support to students and schools that need their support. Sandy Salinas, CIS program Coordinator, shared that CIS began to provide virtual classrooms for students who need tutoring during the pandemic. For most of the school year in 2020-21, face-to-face assistance was extremely limited and based on the guidelines of each school. CIS is providing student support as needed. Patricia Sandoval shares how CIS was able to help her son Jesus.
Jesus recently graduated from Lyndon B. Johnson High School, the jewel from the south. He struggled to reach this milestone because he is autistic. With the support of his family, friends, teachers, and CIS counselors, he was able to walk across the field to receive his high school diploma. Patricia shared that she has three sons. She learned about CIS through flyers sent out by the school. Patricia said, “We are extremely grateful to CIS for their support. At the start of the semester as we were preparing Jesus for the classroom, CIS helped us with school supplies and uniforms.”
Judith Ventura, CIS Site Coordinator at LBJ High, says, “It’s not often I get to work with students and/or families who are autistic, so seeing Jesus work hard to graduate has been very rewarding for me.” His mother, Patricia is his biggest advocate and number one fan. She encourages him every day not to give up and to always strive for the best. Jesus had a difficult senior year due to the pandemic but was still able to enjoy some of the senior activities. Jesus was able to represent CIS at Homecoming for LBJ High School. With the support of CIS, Jesus was also able to attend his senior prom with another CIS student, and wear a cap and gown for his graduation. Patricia Sandoval says their next goal is to enroll Jesus at Laredo College this fall semester.
Jesus is an example of the lives you touch when you give to United Way of Laredo. With your support, United Way is able to provide financial resources to agencies like Communities in Schools to ensure they are able to provide programs and services to those in need. For more information on how you can support the United Way of Laredo or any of their network of agencies contact the United Way at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at www.unitedwaylaredo.org If you are in need of community resources and are not sure where to turn dial 2-1-1 for information on programs and services in available in our community.