North Texas

Student Feels Like ‘Superhero' With Help From Communities in Schools

It is hard to think about school in the middle of summer break. Yet, getting kids ready for class is exactly what NBC and Telemundo stations around the country are doing, starting today.

In North Texas, NBC5, T39, Albertson's and Tom Thumb joined once again to launch the school supplies-drive called Supporting Our Schools.

It is easy to join us. Just donate $10 at the checkout stand to buy school supplies. The non-profit groups Communities in Schools (CIS) and Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities will make sure those supplies get to the kids who need them.

Keondra Bailey is one of those kids. During her senior year at North Crowley High School, Bailey had some struggles. She knows herself well and knew she needed someone to push her, her senior year.

"I'm like what if college is not good, and it's not for me? And she's like, 'It is. Just go for it.' So, I'm going for it," said Bailey.

Marisa Ridley, a social worker with CIS, was the voice encouraging Bailey to set goals and keeping her accountable.

The relationship with a caring adult is the foundation of CIS. Students in more than 100 districts across North Texas get the one-on-one help to break barriers that may block their success.

"It helps me be prepared, confident, ready and a go-getter," said student Emily Lopez.

"CIS helps me with my homework and helps me express my imagination," said student Joseph Resendiz.

And, Geovanni Garcia agreed: "I've done presentations in my school. I used to be shy, and now I'm not."

Bailey transformed, too, from "a shy, loner girl to now I'm more open and sharing."

Bailey even said she feels like a superhero with her newly discovered strength.

"It feels like you can do anything, if you just write it down and put your mind to it," said Bailey, who graduated back in June.

"Graduating means you're grown and you finally have your wings and can get out of the house," said Bailey. "What I'm looking forward to is being a nurse. That's the field I want to go into cause I like helping people."

Bailey earned her certification to become a phlebotomist, to help pay for college, as she pursues her nursing degree.

"I see these people and say these are amazing future human beings we're working with and giving them a leg up," said Ridley.

Last year, North Texans donated almost $400,000 in school supplies to help students like Bailey and set them up for academic success.

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