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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    Episode 14: 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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    Episode 13: 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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    Episode 12: 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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    Episode 11: 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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    Episode 10: Site Coordinator Series, featuring Blanca Soto of Dodge City High School

    In this episode, we talk with Blanca Soto, CIS Site Coordinator at Dodge City High School in Dodge City, KS. Blanca was born and raised in Mexico before moving with her family to Southwest Kansas where she experienced first-hand the obstacles newcomers and the Latino population face. Blanca used those experiences to become an advocate for some of the most at-risk populations. Please join us to hear Blanca's story in this episode of Letters from the Lunchroom.

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    Episode 9: StoryTime - Evelyn's Christmas Wish

    In this episode, we share the story of Evelyn*, a young girl in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This past Christmas, Evelyn was uneasy receiving gifts when she already had so much and knew there were kids like her who were going without. Tune in to hear Evelyn's Christmas Wish.

    *Name has been changed to protect the person's identity.

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    Episode 8: Jania Wester - A Voice for the Voiceless

    In this episode, we talk with Jania Wester, Managing Director for CIS of Mid-America in Tulsa, OK. Jania shares her story, which includes immigration, adoption, making a heart wrenching decision and ultimately, becoming a voice for the voiceless.

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    Episode 7: Nik Roth - PrairieLand Partners

    In this episode, we talk with Nik Roth of PrairieLand Partners in Emporia, KS. Nik shares what it was like growing up with parents who were in social work and why it was so important to him to support Communities In Schools from the very first time he heard of the organization.

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    Episode 6: 2018 Holiday Special

    Welcome to the 2018 Holiday Special episode of Letters from the Lunchroom. Join us as we share a true story of how one community was ALL IN to help one of our students.

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    Episode 5: Alex Delaney - How to Grow Beyond

    In this episode, we talk with Alex Delaney, who is on the CIS of Mid-America Board of Directors. Alex shares three important lessons he learned as someone who broke the cycle of poverty in his family, including how to grow beyond your current circumstances.

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