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 E6: Town Hall Series, feat. Dale Erquiaga - President & CEO of Communities In Schools

    In this episode, we kick off our new “Town Hall Series” with Dale Erquiaga, President & CEO for Communities In Schools. We start off with an abbreviated version of Dale’s State of the Union address, which he presented at the 2019 Leadership Town Hall. Afterwards, Victoria and Dale talk about the unique path that led him to become the President of this organization; a path which includes hard work, a little luck, and a motivated heart.

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    S2 E5: Site Coordinator Series, feat. LaChelle Nichols of Southeast High School in Kansas City, MO

    In this episode, we talk with LaChelle Nichols, CIS Site Coordinator at Southeast High School in Kansas City, Missouri. This episode is particularly touching, as it was recorded during the week that the school held a memorial for a student who was recently taken from them due to gun violence. Please join us as we remember Zavian Hall, and hear how a CIS Site Coordinator helps students who are mourning the loss of a friend.

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    S2 E4: Site Coordinator Series, feat. Chris Ayers of Garden City High School

    In this episode, we talk with Chris Ayers, CIS of Mid-America Site Coordinator at Garden City High School. Chris has been a Site Coordinator at this school for six years, and during this time, he has worked with many students - who each have their own unique barriers and challenges. Please join us to hear Chris share some powerful stories of students he has helped, as well as the secret to his success providing supports for more than 2,000 students.

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    S2 E3: Site Coordinator Series, featuring Chasity Hurd of Shawnee Mission Northwest High School

    In this episode, we talk with Chasity Hurd, a CIS of Mid-America Site Coordinator at Shawnee Mission Northwest High School in Mission, Kansas. Chasity's story travels through multiple states, and begins with her working with AmeriCorps before connecting with CIS of Mid-America. Through her experiences, she has learned the importance of not judging people by their first impression, as well as taking a step back to determine what type of imprint YOU want to make on this world.

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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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