Josiah was referred to Communities In Schools of Rocky Mount in sixth grade to improve his engagement with school and learning, and to help maintain his grades. He was a good student, but he was also very shy, and did not always participate and speak up in class. He wasn’t sure what CIS could offer, but knew he was interested in joining to make more friends.
Although Josiah enrolled in CIS in middle school, he said he did not begin taking full advantage of the program until 10th grade. By that time, CIS had provided Josiah with the opportunity to visit a museum for the first time, and his first college tour was a CIS-led trip where they toured Edgecombe Community College. That’s when he began to really focus on his goal of attending college and started exploring all the benefits of Communities In Schools in earnest.
Josiah first met Buddy Williams through a mutual friend at church. It wasn’t until later that he realized Buddy would be his CIS Specialist his senior year. Buddy not only guided him through the college application process, but also helped him build his confidence. Once a shy individual, Josiah is now comfortable speaking up, and he is no longer hesitant when it comes to public speaking. “Buddy helped me build the confidence I needed to speak in front of a crowd,” Josiah said. “He let me know I am capable, and that there was no need to be afraid.”
Josiah said the most valuable thing his CIS Student Support Specialist taught him is “to be who you are and don’t stop believing in yourself. You must believe you can succeed,” he said, “to take the correct steps to success. CIS is an opportunity that you need to take advantage of – it will help you in all facets of life. It’s fun, the staff is optimistic, and it gives you the chance to learn more about yourself.”
Communities In Schools gave Josiah opportunities to develop life skills that he will take with him to college and beyond. His only wish is that he took advantage of all the aspects of CIS from middle school. He is now a graduating senior and will be the first person in his family to attend college! After graduation, Josiah will attend Livingstone College where he plans to major in Technology and Communications.