Lanier High School senior, Jakob, has worked with Communities In Schools Site Coordinators, Elissa and Mariana, to reach this point – graduation. Jakob is an only child and first generation high school graduate. His mom has been unable to work, so he has had to grow up fast by managing high school and working for the family at the same time. Early on, Jakob thought others didn’t believe he could do more in life because of his family history – this only made Jakob want to work harder. CIS-SA Site Coordinator, Mariana, told us that, “this motivated him to work even harder and show everyone what he is capable of and what he deserves. No matter where he comes from or what obstacles stand in his path,” Jakob was willing to make college a reality.
Throughout his time in CIS, Jakob has learned the importance of integrity and standing up for what you believe in when it aligns with your goals. “Elissa and I saw this first-hand during XY-Zone and senior group activities. Jakob is very honest, loyal, genuine, and hardworking. He knows his worth and fights to have a chance at success,” Mariana said. Jakob was always helping out Elissa and Mariana, as well as helping his fellow CIS students. He exhibited great kindness and role modeling and became a CIS peer mentor as well as Lanier’s only XY-Zone Ambassador. “He is a natural leader. He mentored a Lanier freshman who was struggling with academics, attendance, and behavior. Jakob is down to earth and easily related with this freshman on their common love for football,” Mariana said. But Jakob didn’t just work with one freshman – he worked with all of the Lanier XY-Zone boys, leading them and talking with them about the 5 R’s – Respect, Responsibility, Role Modeling, Relationships, and Reaching Out. He demonstrated the importance of implementing the 5 R’s into every aspect of their lives.
Elissa and Mariana wanted to leave Jakob with some final encouragement:
We are so incredibly proud of not just what you have accomplished this year, but of the grown man you have become today. You are a born leader and we know that you are going to be very successful in college and will do great things for our world and community. Always stay true to who you are, even when things get hard. Never close the door on learning and education, it’s what helps us grow and become better than we were the day before. There is so much opportunity ahead of you, always strive towards something you want, because anything is possible! Congratulations and good luck with all your future dreams and plans.