Mission & Vision

Communities In Schools’ mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.

We envision a community where every child and family thrives and is positioned for positive economic mobility.

Message from the CEO

I am pleased to share our Annual Report for the 2021-22 school year. Last year marked our 37th year of providing critical services to students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. Our North Star remains constant: ensure that all students are able to realize their full potential and have equal opportunities for success. After two years of serving as President and CEO of Communities In Schools, I am still taken aback by the immense need in our community. I am also exceedingly impressed by the generous support that CIS receives from individual donors, corporations, faith organizations and from the Charlotte community at large. I am extremely grateful and humbled to lead an organization that impacts thousands of youth each day.

As I reflect upon our many accomplishments, I’d like to highlight the following:

  • CIS provided individualized case management services to 5,360 students in 2021-22; this is up from 4,700 the prior year. This increase is due, in large part, to the generosity of donors like you. Because of your support, we were able to add more direct service positions and thus serve more students.
  • We resumed in-person College and Career Readiness opportunities in 2021-22. We conducted multiple campus tours, college fairs, and career showcases. Our team provided enhanced support and guidance through College Admissions 101 Sessions, ACT/SAT Prep, and assistance with admissions, financial aid, and scholarship applications. We also focused on Professional Development Workshops (Financial Literacy, Resume Writing, Interviewing, etc.). As a result, of the 383 CIS Seniors that graduated in June, 84% indicated plans to attend college and 15% planned to enter an apprenticeship, the military, or the workforce.

As CIS looks towards meeting the increased need in 2023, we are encouraged by new partnerships, innovative programs, and the steadfast support of our donors and stakeholders. Thank you for your continued support of our work and for joining us in our efforts to remove the barriers to learning for CIS students.

Men Tchaas Ari, President and CEO


Our Commitment to Educational Equity

"CIS believes that race, socioeconomic status or the neighborhood in which one lives should not predicate student outcomes. Ensuring that all students have equitable school experiences and opportunities is foundational to our mission, and infused in everything we do. CIS-Charlotte is committed to removing systemic inequalities present in our educational system. We help champion solutions so that students can achieve success in school and in life.

– Men Tchaas Ari, President and CEO

Advocating for Educational Equity

Who We Serve - Student Demographics

During the 2021-22 school year, CIS provided targeted case-management services to 5,360 students in 55 CMS schools, identified as Title 1 schools and/or with high percentages of students from low-income households.



Of those CIS families who disclosed their income, 70% reported an annual income of less than $35,000.

Earn < $15K 35.5%
Earn $15K - $35K 35%
Earn $35 - $50 16.5%
Earn > $50K 16.5%


89% of CIS students identify as either Black or Latinx.

Black 60%
Hispanic 29%
White 4%
Asian 3%
Multi-Racial 3%
Not Listed 1%

CMS Schools Currently Served by CIS

* Only our Safe Journey (teen parents) program is offered at these two high schools.

Giving Students Voice, Developing Future Leaders

After a two-year pause due to the pandemic, we were thrilled to resume this outstanding program again in 2022! Special thanks to The Gambrell Foundation for their vision around the Difference Makers® CLT initiative and their generous support to make it possible. 

How We Serve

CIS places full-time, trained professionals – our Site Coordinators – inside schools to connect students to resources and relationships they need to be successful inside and outside the classroom. Site Coordinators help identify and overcome roadblocks in students’ way, ensuring they have equitable opportunities and support to achieve their full potential.

CIS Services by Category in FY 2021-22


Specialized Interventions

In addition to our targeted case management services for students in grades K-12, CIS-Charlotte also provides support for youth in our community in the following areas:

is a program for teen parents and their children ages birth to five. The goal is to assist teen parents in completing high school and delay additional pregnancies, while strengthening their parenting skills and connections with their children, families and community.

is a federally funded program providing college access/admissions support to students from
low-income backgrounds and/or who are first generation in their family to attend college.

provides support and resources for recently arrived immigrant/refugee/ELL (English Language Learner) students, many of whom have experienced trauma and extreme emotional/physical situations.

Program Outcomes


students received targeted case-management services in 55 CMS schools.


additional students received broad, school-wide services.

0 %

of CIS students stayed in school.

0 %

were promoted to the next grade.

0 %

of CIS students achieved or made progress towards their identified academic, attendance, behavior, and/or SEL goals.

0 %
were not chronically absent.* (“chronically absent” is defined as missing 10% or more of the school year)

(99%) CIS seniors graduated.
84% of CIS graduates plan to attend a 2-4 year college or university.
15% of CIS graduates plan to join the military, an apprenticeship program or workforce.

0 +

partner companies, groups, and individuals donated time or resources.

CIS Graduates - Class of 2022

We’re proud of our 383 graduating Seniors in the Class of 2022!  Get to know two of our graduates here: Kaytlyn (East Mecklenburg High School) and Justice (Myers Park High School).

Financial Summary

July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022‡

Financial Support

Financial Support by Source

Individuals/Family Foundations* 6,690,162
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools 2,212,643
Federal Government** 1,197,925
Mecklenburg County 931,204
Private Foundations 814,129
Corporations/Organizations 751,478
State of North Carolina 435,000
Charlotte Merchants Foundation 400,000
Religious Organizations/Civic Groups 125,153
Total** $13,557,694
Functional Expenses

Functional Expenses

Program Services 7,125,608
Management/General 621,547
Fundraising 606,188
Total** $8,353,343

‡Based on 990 prepared by C. DeWitt Foard and Company.
*Includes $5 million gift from MacKenzie Scott
**Contains PPP Loan Forgiveness

Surprise Gift from MacKenzie Scott

In February 2022, CIS-Charlotte received an unprecedented $5 million donation from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, the largest single gift in CIS-Charlotte’s history. The donation will allow us to build capacity to address three priorities in our strategic plan, including:

  1. The critical re-engagement of students and the rise in chronic absenteeism since the pandemic.
  2. Enhancement of our college and career readiness programming to ensure that every student has a post-graduation plan for success.
  3. Expansion of services to support more students attending under-resourced schools.

Thank You, MacKenzie Scott!

This transformative gift is a significant validation of both the Communities In Schools network and our affiliate and the work we are doing here in Charlotte. Our national office received $133.5 million from MacKenzie Scott, with 40 CIS affiliates across the country (out of 110) being reviewed and selected by MacKenzie Scott for direct additional gifts. CIS-Charlotte was one of just three affiliates in North Carolina to receive a gift from MacKenzie Scott. We are grateful to MacKenzie Scott and her team for this extraordinary gift!

Financial Donors

Special thanks to the following for their financial support from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022.

"No child chooses their circumstances, but every child has potential. It is up to us, as a community, to remove barriers, remove obstacles, in order that that child can thrive. My husband and I remain committed to Communities In Schools because it works."

– DeeDee Dalrymple, longtime donor and former Board member

Community Partners

Thanks to our formal partnership with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, we have the opportunity to facilitate relationships between local organizations and students who need their services.

Contributors of Goods and Services

Many thanks to the following for their contributions of goods and services from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022.

Thank You to our Event Sponsors

Board of Directors, 2022-23

Niles K. Brown CIS Board Chair
Grant Thornton LLP
Kathryn W. Black Bank of America
Bradley Brown Ally Financial Inc.
Veronica Calderon DeVry University
Tawanda Y. Chandler AvidXchange
Jordan Collier Bristol-Myers Squibb
Jon Davis Circles
Yulonda D. Griffin Mecklenburg County
Vida C. Harvey Novant Health
Dwight Jacobs Duke Energy
Andy Kalbaugh Civic Leader
Shivani Mehta Atrium Health
Steve Menaker RSM US LLP
Eric Norris Albemarle Corporation
Laura Poole Capitol
Federico Rios City of Charlotte
Nate Salley Audible Coaching and Consulting
Diamond R. Staton-Williams Atrium Health
Maxine W. Swayne US Bank
John A. Tate III Civic Leader
Daniel Valdez Welcoming America
Kayla Witherspoon Property Maven, Inc.

Our Team

Learn more about our Program Team and how we deliver Comprehensive Services through our Site Coordinators.

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