Hello CISLA supporters – it has been some time since our last communication with you! This school year has gotten off to a rapid start and we have been busy at work.

In June, 97% of our seniors GRADUATED from high school. This was a 4% increase from the year before and is 10-20% higher than what is happening school-wide. We have also expanded our program to include Santee High School in South Los Angeles, which is the feeder high school for Clinton Middle School. This means that the sixth graders with whom we began working three years ago are now 9th graders at their local high schools, but still part of CIS. Ninth grade is a critical year for students – we are grateful to you for providing the support to enable us to be there for them during this transitional year.

The district and its policies are in constant flux in an effort to improve learning for students. We are dedicated to working closely with the district to understand new systems and policies so that we can continue to ensure that our students’ needs are met.

Over a year ago, we began programming specifically related to supporting our young men of color with CIS’s own XY Zone. We have very recently been invited to partner with LAUSD in the first ever Young Men of Color Conference & Movement. The purpose of this conference is to provide these young men with a village of support to help them achieve academically and graduate from high school college and career ready. Thank you to Dr. Brenda Manuel for inviting us to join you and your team. We are privileged to be a part of your village.

“It takes a village,” a wise woman (or two) have said and it does. I hope that you all continue to stay involved in our work whether as funders, volunteers or people who can help to amplify our message.



Deborah Marcus

Executive Director, Communities In Schools of Los Angeles



We are pleased to welcome two new board members: CAA’s Risa Gertner, and Sabas Carrillo, President of Adnant, LLC.


Thank you to CAA for raising over $500,000 for CISLA and Donorschoose.org at the second annual School Day celebration and for hosting an amazing Lunch with a Leader event at Bouchon. The restaurant also invited eight students from Santee High School’s culinary arts program to apprentice in the kitchen. As one student put it, “We didn’t just get to watch how it worked – we got to experience it ourselves!” Also joining the lunch were Halle Berry, Robert Downey, Jr., Stacey Snider, Ron Meyer, Buzz Aldrin, Jon Hamm, and Jennifer Lee (of “Frozen”). 

Over the summer, we partnered with LAUSD and United Way of Greater Los Angeles in Linked Learning. Linked Learning combines rigorous academics with career-based learning and real-world workplace experiences in a proven approach to transform the way students learn. We are excited to be bringing Linked Learning best practices to our partner schools, and to be expanding our reach to include Hollywood, Hawkins, Hilda Solis, Fremont and Contreras High Schools. We would like to welcome Shadae Sherrod, our Work-Based Learning Coordinator, to the team.