Meet Oriyana

When Oriyona was referred to CIS six years ago, she was struggling to stay on track with her grades, had difficulty staying focused, and kept to herself. She had trouble building social relationships and lacked the confidence to talk to people around her. Oriyona’s CIS circle of support has included multiple Student Support Specialists over the years, and she credits them with helping her get back on track academically, build social relationships, and gain some clarity about her future.

“Since I became a part of CIS I have grown academically, socially, and mentally,” Oriyona said. “CIS has given me a boost of confidence in all of those aspects.”

During the Covid-19 pandemic, CIS helped Oriyona overcome the obstacles she faced. Mr. Williams, Oriyona’s current Student Support Specialist, checked in with her weekly during the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure she was keeping up with her assignments while learning from home. He also held her accountable and offered words of encouragement. Oriyona was able to overcome the challenges of remote learning, and when she returned to the classroom, her CIS support team ensured she kept the good study habits she had learned. Being in the CIS program also helped Oriyona overcome her shyness, and her Student Support Specialists encouraged her to speak out a bit more in class. “Before CIS, I had trouble concentrating and being socially active,” Oriyona said. “Now I can stand in front of a group of people and speak with confidence, and I also stay on top of my academics.”

During her time in CIS, Oriyona began to envision her ideal future. Early in her senior year, CIS took her to a college fair at Nash Community College, which she said gave her great insight into the college application process and what she could study at Nash. After graduation, Oriyona will attend Nash Community College and study nursing for two years before transferring to Winston Salem State University. “I wanted to be a part of CIS for possibilities,” Oriyona said. “They will inspire you to do great things.”

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