Student Success Stories and Testimonials

CIS does so much good for Brunswick County students! Here are stories that share the positive outcome and strong impact CIS is having in young people’s lives. CIS is making a difference in the lives of Brunswick County students!












-Growing Up with CIS: CIS student Alex from Shallotte Middle School shares what the program means to him and the help he received through his time in middle school – “The Action for Success program has helped me to keep my grades up in 6th, 7th and 8th grade through some good and bad times in my life. Michele Rau CIS Success Coach, many tutors and my mentor have helped me reach my goal to go to West Brunswick High School!”



-“CIS has helped me become a better student by helping improve my attitude and encouraging me to do the best in school. It has been nice having a tutor, CIS Success Coach and a mentor to look out for me and make me a stronger person.” Shared by a Shallotte Middel School CIS student.



-A Shallotte Middle Schooler shares her feelings about CIS, “Communities In Schools is the best thing that has happened to me in Shallotte Middle School! The program has helped me feel smarter and have better grades.  It has been nice to have a success coach cheer me up when I feel down and to encourage me to never give up!”


-A Shallotte Middle School student says, “Communities In Schools helped me progress with what I needed help with, to better myself and gain an understanding on how to be successful in life and other goals that I have for myself.”


-Cedar Grove Middle School eighth grade student Justin is thankful for the Communities In Schools of Brunswick County (CIS) Peer Court program changing his path. He participated in the CIS Peer Court program at CGMS when he was in sixth grade because of getting in trouble fighting. The Peer Court experience changed his attitude about school behavior. He hasn’t been in any more fights for two years and is graduating from CGMS this year to go to high school.


-Throughout the school year Eduardo struggled with spelling, and was recently moved from third to second grade to help him catch up academically. Eduardo works every day in CIS afterschool programming to improve his spelling and other classes. Each week Eduardo would look forward to afterschool to work with CIS in hopes of improving his spelling and practice for spelling tests. He was paired with a volunteer Reading Buddy to provide the extra support he needed to try and reach his goal.

After months of hard work, Eduardo began scoring 90’s and 95’s on spelling tests. Each week he would run to CIS Afterschool with a big smile on his face and share his spelling test for the week with staff. Recently Eduardo came into the library with a larger than usual grin. He had a perfect 100% on his spelling test! All of Eduardo’s hard work and determination to improve his spelling had paid off. Not only did he achieve a perfect score of 100 on his test to prove his hard work, but the proud grin he wore sharing his story was the biggest prize of all!


-Triston came to Communities In Schools of Brunswick County (CIS) at Cedar Grove Middle School in sixth grade. He was having trouble in school, completely closed off, and very defiant. Schoolteachers couldn’t get him to pay attention in class or to complete his work. Once involved in the CIS Action for Success program at CGMS with Success Coach Whitney Franklin Triston began earning small rewards through his good behavior and completing assignments. But Ms. Franklin made sure his improvements were exceptional before he received any rewards. Triston developed a trusting relationship with his CIS Success Coach and would meet every day, even having lunch together for further coaching and intervention. If Triston had an awesome day, completely exceptional with no trouble, he would be rewarded with ice cream.

Triston improved greatly and was working hard to get his grades up to good levels when he and his family had to move away to another school. CIS helped Triston turn around his attitude, behavior, and his work ethic to hopefully go on and be a successful student.




Christopher, and other students like him, struggle every day just to keep up with daily classwork and homework. It can be hard for a student who struggles to remain positive. He was dealing with issues at home, often tired, and reserved. At the beginning of the school year, Christopher became even more frustrated, as he struggled to keep up in reading. In an effort to help him, Christopher’s teacher referred him to the CIS Action for Success program at Waccamaw. He was then paired with a CIS Success Coach and started after school small group tutoring immediately.

Over the course of a few weeks, he became more confident and began forming positive relationships with other students in the tutoring group. Christopher also began to open up and talk with Mr. Reardon, an afterschool CIS volunteer tutor. Christopher started participating in the Friends of Rachel anti-bullying program once a week and continued to meet with Mr. Reardon one to two times each week. Although he still struggles from time to time, Christopher has formed positive relationships with students and volunteers, gained confidence, and continues to work hard towards his goals.



Juliana is an 8th grade student at Leland Middle School in the CIS program. She has been in the CIS program for three years and wants to go into the medical field. Juliana is excited about her educational future and has applied to the Brunswick County Early College program! “CIS gives you extra help. I feel like it will give me a head start on the medical field. My most rewarding experience in the program would be just getting the help I need,” said Juliana.



Davina, a 6th grade CIS student at South Brunswick Middle School, received a Good Neighbor Award after being nominated by her CIS Success Coach Calie Hodgson. She is active in the CIS Wilson Reading tutoring program, Math Tutoring and she attended the county I Am Extraordinary event at BCC. She was nominated because of her leadership skills and her willingness to work and guide others. She excels in all of the programs she is involved. The volunteers who she works with have raved about her motivation to succeed and her kindness with others in the groups.

“Davina is a joy to have! She is the light we need in our group. Her positive attitude towards learning is encouraging not only to the other students but to me as a volunteer.” – Bill Mackey, CIS volunteer tutor.

Her father, Micheal, said that she will not stop talking about how she can’t wait to go to college now and then she took him to meet Mr. Bill, the volunteer who teaches Wilson Reading. Her dad is appreciative of all that CIS has done for Davina and said he can see a huge improvement in her.  Especially her attitude towards school!









Meet Chris, a 7th grade CIS student at SBMS. Last school year he missed over 30 days of school. This school year being in the CIS program, being mentored, and working with the CIS Success Coach and Chris has only missed three days so far! Chris and Miss Janie (his mentor) meet weekly to talk, play games and work on anything that Chris needs help with.



Harley, a 7th grade CIS student at SBMS, loves visiting his mentor Jeff every week. They hang out talk and get to know each other. Harley says, “We both love sports and the best time we had was out passing football one day. It was fun!”



Pedro, a 4th grade CIS student at Waccamaw School said he has been a student with CIS for a few years. He participated in after school STEM programs. “My favorite part of that program was the physical activity.” Now at Waccamaw Pedro explores other creative skills. “I love to write in my CIS journal I made with Miss Amber in my sessions. I write in it all the time because writing helps calm me down and reading my writings help me to see the situation a different way. Since meeting with Miss Amber and being in CIS, I get in less trouble and think about situations better and how to handle things.”











Daequan, a 2nd grade CIS student at Waccamaw School loves the computer learning curriculum Moby Max implemented by CIS. “I started the Moby Max program this year with Miss Amber and CIS to help my studies. Math is my favorite subject. By learning different things with Moby Max and the CIS program, it helps me to do my school work.”



Cedar Grove Middle School Student 8th grade student Kimberly:
CIS helps me to be more organized with no distractions, which helps to complete my assignments and my grades have gone up! I like school more now because of working with CIS and Miss Franklin at CGMS. I am involved with CIS WhyTry group program that meets every other week during our elective period. CIS helps me to stay positive and keeps me focused on school and not getting mixed up with friends’ bad drama.


Cedar Grove Middle School Student 8th grade student Mikayla:
I have been active and volunteering in Peer Court for two years. CIS at CGMS makes you feel very included. I love working with Peer Court and being able to help other students who have done wrong and give them a second chance without hurting their permanent record. Peer Court is a good program because it allows you to meet new people and become friends (even from the opposing side) because you are all involved in the program. My favorite role is a prosecutor in Peer Court, but I also like mentoring younger students and teaching them how the court system works. Peer Court is a great program because it helps kids to stay on the right track. I will definitely stay involved with Teen Court when I go on to high school!



Shyanne, a seventh grader at Cedar Grove Middle School with a reputation for troublemaking and classroom disruption throughout the school, truly benefitted from CIS help. She was known for rebellious behavior like scribbling all over test booklets and marking answers without reading. During end of grade testing, “I hate this test” was written all over her test book. This was a consistent behavior. She was disrespectful to her teachers and classmates daily, frequently using inappropriate language and even causing fights with peers.

Daily sessions with a CIS Success Coach helped Shyanne to begin listening and responding in a positive way. Through the CIS sessions, she worked on anger management, conflict resolution, healthy choices, and character building. With the Success Coach Shyanne was able to set daily goals, learn study skills, and build self-awareness.

Shyanne’s teachers are continuously sharing what a difference they are now seeing. They are so happy to witness the changes in her attitude and behavior. Katherine Watson, an administrator at Cedar Grove stated, “Shyanne has shown amazing academic and behavioral improvement in the last calendar year. She has grown into a mature, hard-working seventh grader that truly cares about improving and making the best grades possible.”

Cedar Grove Middle CIS Success Coach Whitney and Shyanne.


Billy, a Shallotte Middle School CIS student, was struggling with his grades in several classes. “I couldn’t understand the subject matter, so then I just wouldn’t complete assignments because I didn’t understand. Social Studies was the hardest. CIS helped me with a tutor that I see once a week. Now my social studies grade is a B and I’m doing better in my other classes. With Ms. Rau’s (CIS Success Coach at SMS) help and keeping me organized, I have a strong B average and getting better. Thank you!”