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Communities in Schools Alumni Spotlight: Xiomara Ortiz

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

At Communities in Schools of Eastern PA, we know that each student we work with has immense potential. Our work is to help them understand that potential. That journey is mixed with physical, mental, economic, or social external barriers - sometimes a combination. A key part of this is empowering students and tearing down barriers that limit their academic and personal aspirations. We successfully helped Dieruff High School alumna Xiomara Ortiz achieve this.

Xiomara met her site coordinator through a friend who was also receiving services through CIS. Our site coordinators work in public schools around Lehigh Valley and Berks County. They have three main roles: implement integrated student supports, provide one-on-one support to students, and manage relationships with community partners and school leadership.

Graduation from high school is one of the most concrete ways students can celebrate their success and resilience. Xiomara successfully graduated and went straight into the workforce, quickly landing a full-time job. She currently works in human resources at a cement siding company in Quakertown, PA.

Xiomara finds it hard to recall a favorite memory from working with CIS. She says, “all of my CIS memories are my favorite. Spending time with the CIS team at my high school was always just what I needed.”

Today, if Xiomara could talk to her high school self, she would tell her to stay focused and not let the little things stress her out. At CIS, we try to help our students enjoy themselves in school and feel like exactly what they are: kids. Barriers can undoubtedly be a source of stress, but that is the part we handle. Students deserve to appreciate and take advantage of their education.

She recalls working with CIS as her best decision in high school. If she could go back and do it again, she would. She says, “I am very proud of the success I feel in my position today. I say a huge thank you to CIS for helping me to get to this point.” Xiomara’s story proves how CIS’s importance does not end at graduation. It creates lasting patterns and impacts that help students navigate life beyond school.

We are so proud of Xiomara and all of the students like her who have found success. We look forward to continuing to work with youth who need our help throughout Lehigh Valley and Berks County.

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