Photo Credit: Marco Calderon Photography
The local education nonprofit hosted a breakfast event celebrating the accomplishments of nearly 60 high school seniors previously at risk of not graduating from seven Lehigh Valley and Berks districts.
Allentown, PA (May 25, 2023) – Communities in Schools of Eastern Pennsylvania (CISEasternPA) hosted its Building Bright Futures Graduation and breakfast, presented by Olympus Corporation of the Americas, on May 23, 2023, at DeSales University. The event celebrated the perseverance and accomplishments of over 100 previously at-risk high school seniors, with nearly 60 of those attending the event in person. CISEasternPA serves high school students in seven school districts in Northampton, Lehigh, and Berks Counties. Allentown Mayor Matt Tuerk delivered the keynote address.
Additionally, $1,500 tuition-assistance scholarships were awarded to four outstanding students to continue their education after high school:
- Joan Benner Fuller Scholarship
- Madison Wily, Fleetwood Area High School
- Chandler-Barnes Scholarship
- Gabriel Dejesus, Building 21
- Sa’Riyah Simmons-Flood, Building 21
- Jenny Yu, Easton Area High School
CISEasternPA hosts this event to celebrate its graduating seniors annually. Typically named “Ready, Set, Graduate!,” the celebration has been renamed this year the “Building Bright Futures Graduation” in honor of the organization’s 40th-anniversary theme. CISEasternPA has impacted over a quarter million students in the Lehigh Valley since 1983.
Mayor Tuerk celebrated the graduate’s achievements and relayed his personal story of overcoming obstacles and the nontraditional course that shaped his future. “Congratulations to each and every one of you on your achievements,” said Tuerk. “As you go forth from here, remember that the path to success may not be smooth, it won’t be smooth, but with your resilience, you can overcome any obstacles. Believe in yourselves; believe in your ability to shape a better future.”
Graduates and guests also heard from Rey Saldaña, national president and CEO of Communities In Schools, via a video message. Addressing the graduates, he noted that they “have seen the pandemic and post-pandemic world. [They witnessed] trials, tribulations, struggles, and triumphs, the grit and resiliency that it takes to be part of this graduating class. [Communities In Schools] is grateful for the privilege to walk alongside you as you write your success story.”
CISEasternPA works in schools throughout the Lehigh Valley and Berks County, serving 37,000 students from elementary to high school ages. Helping students reach graduation is a primary goal of the organization as they surround students with a community of support and empowerment. The nonprofit wants students to understand and appreciate the huge accomplishment of high school graduation, which is one of the main reasons for hosting this celebration each year.
CISEasternPA’s 40th-anniversary celebration and fundraising will continue throughout the year and culminate at the Building Bright Futures 40th Anniversary Celebration on Thursday, October 26, 2023, at Olympus Corporation of the Americas. Information, tickets, and sponsorship opportunities can be found here.
About Communities in Schools of Eastern Pennsylvania
Started in 1983, Communities In Schools of Eastern Pennsylvania is part of the Communities In Schools national network, which consists of independent 501(c)(3) organizations serving over 1.6 million students in 25 states and the District of Columbia. With caring adults serving over 38,000 students in 40 schools throughout Lehigh, Northampton, and Berks counties. The CIS mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. We ensure students, regardless of race, zip code, or socioeconomic background, have what they need to succeed in school and beyond. Learn more about CISEasternPA here.
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