During the pandemic, Jake, a student at Lakota Middle School disappeared from school when classes went virtual.Jake and his family have endured many hardships throughout his school career and the pandemic created new unforeseen barriers for Jake’s school success. Jake’s disappearance from school was deeply felt by his School Outreach Coordinator. Many attempts were made to contact the family but due to changes in housing, Jake and his family were unreachable. 

Amanda Martinson, transferred to Lakota Middle School as the new School Outreach Coordinator this year. Although Amanda did not start working with Jake at the beginning of his CIS journey, she already knew about him and was overjoyed at his return. Due to family circumstances Jake was not able to begin the school year on time and Amanda was more than happy to help Jake integrate back into school and catch up on what he had missed. 

After connecting with Communities In Schools again, Jake started regularly attending classes. He was also able to attend clubs and work on his self advocacy. Jake became an advocate for other students struggling to seek out help saying, “Always ask for help! It will benefit you in the long run.”