Communities in Schools Alumni Spotlight: Jocelyne Vega
Communities in Schools of Eastern Pennsylvania’s (CISEPA) mission is to provide students with a support system in their community, leading to academic and personal success. But the effects of an individual’s experience with CISEPA do not end when a student finishes their high school education. It has lasting impacts, connecting them with mentors, building relationships, and nurturing motivation to continue achieving after school ends. This is true for so many of our alumni, and it was undoubtedly true for CISEPA alumna Jocelyne Vega.
Jocelyne is a 22-year-old medical assistant, lash artist, saleswoman, restaurant manager, and, most importantly, a mom. She is incredibly proud of the young woman she has become, and she thanks CISEPA for much of her inspiration and guidance to reach the accomplishments she has so far.
Jocelyne was introduced to CISEPA while in high school. While she faced many challenges, what people at school saw was a kid who was misbehaving. Her high school counselor suggested that she learn more about CISEPA, and connected Jocelyne with the CISEPA site coordinator in the building. She graduated high school in 2018. Helping students to graduate is a major goal of CIS; 88% of the students we serve received their high school diplomas in 2022.
Looking back, if Jocelyne could say anything to her high school self, she would say, “I did it! I have a baby, finally got a house, and started my own business. I’m a medical trainer and still run the restaurant. I’m super proud of everything I’ve been through because it has made me stronger and wiser. I wouldn’t change anything.”
Jocelyn always remembers that, during her time in high school, Communities In Schools helped her escape reality and made school fun. One memory that stands out, among many: when she was able to help a student go to prom. One day, Jocelyne walked into her school’s office and overheard another student saying she wanted to go to the prom but was having difficulty affording what she needed. Jocelyne and the CISEPA site professionals took it upon themselves to give the student a makeover and make her prom wishes a reality! They gave the student a manicure, pedicure, and accessories and helped with hair and makeup. Jocelyne said, “She looked so amazing in that blue dress. She didn’t even know how beautiful she was.”
After high school, Jocelyne got her first apartment and started going to school to become a medical assistant. While nearing the end of her medical training, she found out she was pregnant with her son. Becoming someone her son could be proud of was her biggest motivator. She still felt she wanted to do even more, so she started selling waist trainers and taking classes to become lash-certified while also managing a Colombian restaurant.
Jocelyne now knows what it feels like to be successful and is very grateful to have had inspiration and support from the Communities In Schools of Eastern PA staff in her life. They motivated her daily; even now, those women are still her mentors and friends. She’d like to say to them, “Thank you for always believing in me. I am so proud of the woman I have become and so thankful to have been part of CIS.”
Learn more about CISEasternPA’s mission and initiatives here.