Missing Makayla: An attendance turnaround

Learning fractions can be tough — especially if you have missed nearly a month of school. To a fifth grader like Makayla, it felt like she was always trying to catch up. School was simply too much. Makayla wasn’t missing school just to be rebellious. She hadn’t been feeling very well, she was lonely, and honestly, she had dreamt of what life would be like with a new family.

After experiencing homelessness — only to find temporary housing until it was burned down — Makayla lived in a constant state of anxiety, fear and helplessness. One day, she asked Julie Rahm for help. Julie is a CIS Student Support Specialist, and her response was to immediately enroll Makayla in the research-based WHYTRY program, which teaches social, emotional and leadership skills.

Today, Makayla knows what it is like to experience a confidence boost. She also feels equipped to handle challenges she may face in the future. “She had the courage to ask for help and was strong enough to make any changes needed,” Julie said. “She is now a confident young lady. I am proud of her growth.”

Makayla, a blossoming leader on her cheerleading team, has built healthy relationships with peers and caring adults. She received her first-ever academic awards, including an award for math, and has an average daily attendance rate of 96 percent. CIS transforms students’ lives. Just ask Makayla.