Brienne Gordon, student at the Cobb County Performance Learning Center (PLC) was one of just nine students recognized in the statewide Student Achievement Month (SAM) contest from Communites in Schools! Brienne competed against more than 300 students from 17 Georgia counties for scholarships and prizes valued up to $1,000. Gordon and the other winners were recognized by parents, educators and elected officials during a special luncheon Mar. 11.
Student Achievement Month provides an opportunity for at-risk youth to excel through a month-long contest in four competitive categories (public speaking, written expression, computer technology, and creative expression). The contest helps students set and achieve new goals, gain confidence, and understand the importance of succeeding in school. SAM is a multi-level competition. Community leaders judge local entries. Georgia college representatives decide regional winners and Atlanta business leaders and media choose state winners.
Gordon’s creative expression entry depicted how she has gone from a troubled youth who was failing and on her way to dropping out of school to a senior who can’t wait to graduate and enter the Savannah College of Art and Design. “My grade point average is not where it should be but I’ve made a tremendous amount of progress. Without my graduation coach and CIS/PLC, I would never have thought that graduating would even be a possibility,” Gordon commented. According to Gordon, it was the small non-traditional school and caring environment of the PLC that helped her realize that graduating and continuing her education will allow her to have a successful future.
Communities In Schools (CIS) is the nation’s largest dropout prevention organization. CIS partners with local school districts to unify community resources that empower at-risk youth to compete in a global workforce. The CIS model promotes student achievement by meeting the unique needs of each youth, which might entail providing social services, mentoring, after-school tutoring, and other activities. Third-party experts validated that the CIS model is one of only a few programs that reduces dropout rates and increases student achievement, which leads to stronger economies and communities.