Ashley, an 8th grader at Sacajawea Middle School, first started working with our School Outreach Coordinator, Kimberly Foster, four years ago at Mirror Lake Elementary. Ashley was having a hard time in fifth grade with her group of friends and wasn’t feeling confident in the classroom. She was shy and not as talkative as the other kids in class. Her mom was always very supportive in encouraging Ashley to achieve her best, but was not always comfortable communicating with the school because she preferred Spanish, and she didn’t always know how to get the most resources for her kids. Kimberly, who speaks Spanish, was able to connect with her mom and identify the resources that Ashley needed to be successful.
Ashley participated in after school programs through CIS at Mirror Lake, and Kimberly connected her with a volunteer mentor. When her behavior was becoming an issue in the classroom, Kimberly worked with her mom and teacher to figure out how to get her the support she needed. They determined that Ashley’s behavior issues were due to not being challenged enough in the classroom, and were able to help her get signed up for Cambridge (advanced) classes, which she continued when she got to Sacajawea.
At Sacajawea, Ashley participated in Homework club and girls groups, and went on several field trips through Communities In Schools. She has continued to meet with her mentor, Carolyn, and the two have now been together for three years. Ashley checks in with Kimberly when she needs something, but over the last year she has become very independent and capable of managing all of the things going on in her life without intensive support from Kimberly.
Ashley has grown and matured in her confidence and focus. She is now a part of leadership and has thrived as she becomes more aware of her natural leadership skills. She helps a lot with her family and encourages her younger brothers and sisters. Her family moved out of the Sacajawea area this year but she finished the year here and was determined to keep up with all her classes, her friends, and her mentor. Her attitude has improved and she carries herself as a young woman and a leader, instead of being caught up in the problems others create for her. She is an advocate for students and very determined and focused on how to get to college and fulfill her dreams of being a doctor.