Dear Friends,

It’s back to school season in Los Angeles, and CIS site coordinator Kenn Campa is ready at Mendez High School, welcoming back students as they return. Thanks to Kenn’s leadership and tailored approach, last year, 100% of CIS seniors at Mendez H.S. graduated, despite at one-point being identified as likely to drop out. Our students arrive at school with incredible talents and potential, but also bring challenges outside the classroom that create barriers to success inside the classroom. With your support, site coordinators work full-time in schools to help remove those barriers.

As Kenn explains, it’s all about the relationships, “I see our students as individuals, always. When I am advising and supporting our students I apply interventions to meet their individuals needs. We have to always treat students as uniquely as possible.”

Students like, Anita. Kenn began working with Anita during her 9th grade year because she was identified as having potential barriers to graduation. Over the next three years, Anita remained on Kenn’s caseload and continued to receive one-on-one support to ensure she stayed on track. By her senior year, Anita was thriving academically, but was struggling to navigate next steps for pursuing college.

Anita will be the first young woman in her family to attend college. She expressed interest in attending the University of San Francisco, but had concerns: she didn’t know how she would pay her tuition, she was having anxiety about going so far away for school, and she worried about the impact leaving Los Angeles would have on her family. Kenn sat with Anita and listened to her concerns. He counseled her through her questions, and together, they devised a plan. This week, Anita will begin her freshman year at USF, as a member of the class of 2021.

Kenn encouraged her to “be proud of the work she did to get accepted… and, recognize her potential for greatness. I immediately saw she had gained a newfound sense of confidence. I’ve known her since she was a freshman so to see her take that personal leap of faith was incredible.”

As another school year begins, I hope you will consider making a gift in support of site coordinators like Kenn, who work tirelessly, every day on behalf of more than 11,000 students in our city. Every dollar you give helps keep another student, like Anita, in school and on the path to reaching their full potential. Every gift has an impact:

  • $25 provides students like Anita with back to school supplies
  • $50 sends a student on a field trip to explore college and career
  • $250 brings a guest speaker to campus and inspires students around what’s possible
  • $500 sends a group of students on a field trip to explore college and career
  • $1,000 per year gives a student, like Anita, a champion, like Kenn, who provides one-on-one support and empowers them to achieve their brightest future.

Please consider supporting as many students as you are able this back to school season.

With gratitude, 


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