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CIS Graduate, Performance Learning Center

Taylor MendelsohnTaylor dropped out of high school in the ninth grade, but found help and hope at the Performance Learning Center® (PLC), a nontraditional high school operated through a joint initiative between Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and CIS. In his senior year at the PLC, Taylor received a $10,000 college scholarship from the Walmart Foundation’s Communities In Schools Scholarship Program. He is enrolled in the Honors program at Western Carolina University. Here is Taylor’s story in his own words:

“My life started to change when Bill Anderson [former CIS Executive Director] shook my hand at orientation to congratulate me: my PLC entrance exam score was the highest in the school’s opening year. My heart filled with hope. I knew that I was smart, but I was never able to prove this to anyone – not even myself.  The PLC made me feel accepted and part of a community that cared about students like myself who had lost their way – losing faith in themselves completely.”

“That first year, there wasn’t enough I could say about how PLC was changing my life. I went from hating school to being eager to learn. Even though I had to get up at 5 a.m. and take a city bus across town, nothing would keep me from getting to school. It is like the PLC stopped the clock and put me on a better train heading toward a rewarding future.”

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