Letters from the Lunchroom
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Letters from the Lunchroom is brought to you by Communities In Schools of Mid-America. Communities In Schools (CIS) is a nationwide non-profit, which connects students and their families to local resources in order to remove barriers so that they will have greater success in school and in life. During this podcast, we talk to people who have a relationship with CIS. From students to staff members, and alumni to volunteers, we know that people who connect with non-profits have a story that led them there, and we want to know that story.

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    S2 E2: Sophie Archuleta - Ask Those Questions!

    In this episode, we talk with Sophie Archuleta, Volunteer and VISTA Manager with Communities In Schools of Mid-America. For the past five years, Sophie has held a variety of titles with our organization. When asked what the main thing she takes away from her experience with us? The importance of asking questions. Whether it be for help or for understanding, questions help you (and those around you) grow. Tune in as we welcome Sophie to the Lunchroom.

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    S2 E1: This is our Work, our Duty, our Promise (feat. Jennifer Martin & Jessica Griffin)

    In this episode, we talk with Jennifer Martin, Site Coordinator, and Jessica Griffin, Principal at Logan Avenue Elementary School in Emporia, KS. Together, they started the CIS program at this school in the fall of 2017. As we talk, they share the moments that made them laugh, the ones that made them cry, and the ones they learned from.

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    S1 E18: Best of Season One

    In the season finale episode of Letters from the Lunchroom, we take a look back at some of our favorite moments from the top episodes. These episodes include CIS Site Coordinator Michael Williams, CIS Director Jania Wester, Kansas Superintendent Richard Proffitt, and CIS CEO & President Malissa Martin. Please join us as we reflect on all the times we laughed, cried, and got inspired during season one.

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    S1 E17: Paul Carttar - The Choices We Make

    In this episode, we talk with Paul Carttar, a CIS of Mid-America Board Member and overall amazing person. Paul reflects on his experiences working in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors and the importance of learning from the choices we make, including the ones that result in failure.

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    S1 E16: Ras Smith - It's Normal Not to be Normal

    In this episode, we talk with Ras Smith of Waterloo, Iowa. Ras was previously a Site Coordinator for Communities In Schools of Mid-America before transitioning to a consultant role when he took on the responsibilities of Iowa State Representative for House District 62. Ras shares the differences in these two ways of working with CIS of Mid-America, as well as the ways in which is life turned out very different from what he imagined growing up.

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    S1 E15: GRADUATION SPECIAL, featuring Sarah Stockebrand & Darci Marshall of Chanute High School

    In this episode, we talk with Sarah Stockebrand, Site Coordinator at Chanute High School (Chanute, KS) and CIS student Darci Marshall. Sarah and Darci share insight to their relationship, including the ways in which Darci overcame her barriers to graduate high school and become the first recipient of the Tyler Gerhardt Memorial Scholarship. Tune in for this very special opportunity to gain insight into the relationships our Site Coordinators hold with the students they serve.

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    S1 E14: Lashawn Taylor - Hills, Valleys, Dips, and Curves

    In this episode, we talk with Lashawn Taylor, Communities In Schools of Mid-America's Area Director in Southeast Kansas. Lashawn talks about the evolution of his career with this non-profit, as well as the evolution of his large-scale annual fundraising golf tournament, which went from barely breaking even in year one to bringing in more than $30,000 in year four. He also shares how specific people and events in his childhood taught him how to handle life's hills, valleys, dips, and curves.

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    S1 E13: Jim Edwards - Finding Your Equalizer

    In this episode, we talk with Jim Edwards, who is one of our outstanding volunteers. Jim shares the impact volunteering has had on his life, including some life changing stories of students he has met. In true Jim fashion, he brings his life advice to the Lunchroom and explains how to find your equalizer.

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    S1 E12: Site Coordinator Series, featuring Christy Young of Alta Vista Charter High School

    In this episode, we talk with Christy Young, CIS of Mid-America Site Coordinator at Alta Vista Charter High School in Kansas City, Missouri. Christy's life was full of adventure before she connected with Communities In Schools, and the students in her school ensure that she knows nothing of boring days. Join us as Christy shares the story of how her travels around the world brought her to the United States and onto the CIS team.

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    S1 E11: Donna Bussell - Become Your Ancestor's Wildest Dreams

    In this episode, we talk with Donna Bussell, Tribal Services Director in Anadarko, Oklahoma. Donna shares with us some of the important aspects of working with a majority native community, as well as the challenges, and why she encourages kids to "become their ancestor's wildest dreams."

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