New CIS Alumni Group

CIS Alumni attending CIS National Town Hall Conference in Los Angeles

The CIS Alumni group is slowly growing! We have recruited six alumni to serve on the CIS Alumni Leadership Committee. All six traveled to Los Angeles in May to attend the CIS National Town Hall Conference.

At the conference, the Leadership Committee members were able to network with fellow CIS alumni from around the country. One of the committee members Greg Allen described how several members of the group felt, “The bond was just crazy from the start. Once we took that trip to LA, we became brothers and sisters on that trip.”

We currently have two Houston alumni serving on the National Alumni Leadership Network! They attended a private dinner in Los Angeles along with the CIS National Board and were treated to a private screening of a film. They attended various workshops specifically for alumni. On our last night in LA, the six of them met and shared their stories with one another. They have truly formed a bond…they are a family!

The Houston Alumni leadership group meets once a month to discuss various topics. They have set up several initiatives for the 2017-2018 school year such as a mentoring program, a CIS Fun Day in December at a CIS campus, two community service projects, an Alumni Newsletter, and Alumni website. They are also planning a retreat in May 2018 to discuss the progress of the group and next steps to grow in numbers.

CIS is currently recruiting new members for the Alumni group. There are several mini events taking place over the summer to share about the Alumni group and encourage other students to join.

CIS Alumni at the ESCAPE Room. They finished the challenge with 3 minutes to spare!

What are they up to now?

As a result of the new Houston Alumni Leadership group, three of our CIS alumni have been making great strides since graduation:

CIS Graduate Rosie Martinez Live on TV


Rosie Martinez, 2015 CIS graduate from Milby High School, was interviewed by Telemundo about CIS, which aired live on the 5 pm July 6 television broadcast. Of her interview, she said, “I was so nervous,” but the news anchor was very kind, even giving her some advice about college as she is majoring in Public Relations and Business. After the interview, she was able to take a picture at the news desk.

During the interview, Rosie said Telemundo asked her basic questions about how CIS has helped her, and she explained, “Everybody needs some kind of support. I think CIS has always been there. They have been like a shoulder to me, whether it’s been for me to cry on, whether it’s just to tell them whatever is going on; they’ve always been there. So now that I’m a CIS alumni, it’s even better because now there are six of us in my alumni group. We’ve grown very close, and it just feels like family. CIS has been a huge support for me in high school, and they are still a huge support for me today.”

CIS Graduate Greg Allen Getting His Dream Job

IMG_3921Greg Allen, 2012 CIS graduate from Alief Taylor High School, recently applied for and was selected as the new Peer Navigator position at Lamar High School for the upcoming year.

Greg found out about the open position with CIS when he came back to Houston after graduating from University of Kansas, where he received a full football scholarship and graduated with his Bachelor of Arts degree in 4 years. During his senior year, he was selected as one of the Big 12 Champions for Life, where they choose one student athlete from each school who has overcome extenuating circumstances.

Back in Houston, he reconnected with his CIS Project Manager and mentor from Olle Middle School, Mr. Bryant. Greg also got involved in the new CIS Alumni group, which is how he found out about the job opening which will allow him to be a mentor and role model to students who are in the same position he was only a few years ago.

Greg is excited about his opportunities for the future. He says the new Peer Navigator position and working with kids is “definitely one of his dream jobs.” Although several of our CIS Project Managers and Case Workers over the years were CIS students themselves who have found their way back to the organization to help kids stay in school, Greg is our first CIS alumni to become a Peer Navigator.

CIS Graduate Eddie Luster Goes to Capitol Hill

CIS graduate Eddie Luster (right) pictured with a legislator in front of the Capitol

Eddie Luster, 2013 CIS graduate from Lamar High School, visited Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. over the summer! He joined CIS staff to help emphasize the importance of the work CIS does for students in school. Eddie, along with CIS Board and staff members, met with legislators on Capitol Hill to discuss how CIS makes a difference in the lives of students, and especially how CIS has made a difference in his own life. They encouraged our legislators to continue supporting CIS.

“I was like a junior lobbyist for CIS. Basically my objective was to be a living example of what CIS is doing and speak to senators and their teams about our not losing funds because of certain bills being passed.”

Aside from his very busy schedule as a full-time broker with an upscale travel company, Eddie has an entrepreneurial spirit and is building a clothesline business as well as a Search Engine Optimization side business.

CIS Graduates

CIS is so proud of our awesome CIS students who recently graduated from Wheatley High School and Lamar High School.

Alexa Rodriguez and Laura Rodriguez, CIS Graduates

Alexa Rodriguez, CIS Alumni from Wheatley HS

Q: What was your life like before you found CIS?

A: “Before, it was a whole mess.  Before CIS I had nobody to talk to.” She explained that when she was depressed she used to cut herself.

Q:  Now that you’ve graduated, what is your life like? What’s your outlook for the future?

A: “I’m trying to go to college. Although I’m not sure of my major, I like the medical field and to speak about different causes.”

Laura Rodriguez, CIS Alumni from Lamar High School

Q: What was your life like before you found CIS?

A: “In the theater group I was a part of, I was known as ‘Mama Laura’ and I was always taking care of everyone else. But inside, I was just an emotional train-wreck.”

Q: Now that you’ve graduated, what is your life like? What’s your outlook for the future?

A: “Having graduated and having been a part of CIS, I have had so many opportunities and been able to experience so many things I never would have gotten to participate in if it weren’t for CIS.” Laura is grateful to the CIS mentor she has worked with for the past 3 years, especially for how she has helped her with applying for scholarships and finding opportunities for her to speak and sing at various events. Laura calls her graduation, a “turning point in the book of my life.”

We are beyond proud of our graduates and the significant difference CIS makes in students’ lives every day!

A special thank you to our Donors (3/23/17 – 6/31/17)

Thank You Touchdown Houston

We are grateful to Touchdown Houston fro awarding CIS a $50,000 Super Bowl grant!

CIS StrikeOut DropOut Bowlathon


Thursday, October 12, 6-9 pm @ Bowlmor Houston, 925 Bunkerhill Rd.Kids bowling shoes

For more information including registration and sponsorship opportunities, visit our website or call 713-654-1515 x172.