Mission & Vision

Our 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

It is no secret that young people flourish when supported by a community of caring adults. At Communities In Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg (CIS), we are driven by a powerful vision: to ensure that our education system is equitable and unlocks the full potential of every student, regardless of their economic status, race, or zip code.

Our Site Coordinators play a pivotal role in realizing this vision, helping young people thrive daily by ensuring they have the necessary resources to succeed. Thanks to their efforts, an increasing number of students are becoming first-generation college students. Moreover, more students are now prepared to enter the workforce or enlist in military service, contributing to a more prosperous economy and a thriving Charlotte-Mecklenburg community.

The 2022-23 school year was a positive year of growth for CIS. We are advancing toward our goal of having a CIS presence in all CMS Title I (high-poverty) schools. Much of that progress is thanks to you, our donors, partners and friends. We are grateful for your support and are pleased to share these highlights from FY 2022-23 with you:

  • 6,395 students received individual case-management services through CIS. This is a 20% increase over the number of students served in the previous year.
  • 33,000+ additional students received support from CIS through broad, school-wide initiatives.
  • 640 (99%) of CIS seniors graduated, with 88% planning to attend college and 5% planning to enter the military or workforce.
  • We entered two new Title I schools, supporting our two-fold goal of closing school feeder pattern gaps and serving more Title I schools. Currently we serve 56 CMS schools, 44 of which are Title I.
  • We piloted a new initiative, Attendance+, designed to improve attendance outcomes for chronically absent students. With promising results, we implemented the program in multiple CIS sites this school year.
  • We launched an Alumni Program to support CIS graduates as they pursue their post-secondary plans.

CIS believes every student deserves an education and equitable opportunities that lead to a successful future. By building trusting relationships with students and parents, CIS can address the root cause of challenges, help students identify and overcome barriers, and set them on a path to success. 

We are proud of the impact CIS has made on thousands of students this past year, but know there are thousands more in need of our services. Thank you for joining us in this important work and supporting our mission to provide all students with the tools they need to lead successful, fulfilling lives.

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

Who We Serve

During the 2022-23 school year, CIS provided targeted case-management services to 6,395 students in 56 CMS schools. CIS primarily serves “Title I” schools, which means the majority of students live in households near or below the poverty line. The number of Title I schools in CMS continues to rise; today, more than half of CMS schools (102 of 184) are designated Title I.

Title I Schools in CMS

102 of 184 CMS schools are Title I.

Title I 56%
Non-Title I 44%

Household Income

  • 63% of CIS students are from households earning less than $35,000 annually.
  • 83% of students live in households at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. 


90% of CIS students identify as either Black or Latinx.

Black 59%
Hispanic 31%
White 3%
Asian 2%
Multi-Racial 3%
Not Listed 2%

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 in school and beyond. Site Coordinators help students identify and overcome roadblocks in their way, while ensuring they have equitable opportunities and the support they need to achieve their full potential.

Key Areas of Focus​

  • Basic Needs
  • Life Skills
  • College & Career Prep
  • Family Engagement
  • Academics
  • Social-Emotional Growth
  • Physical Health

Our Site Coordinators are:

  • Full-time, trained professionals
  • Positioned within schools to provide a daily, trusted presence
  • In schools to help students identify and overcome barriers keeping them from success

Specialized Interventions

In addition to our core services for students in grades K-12, CIS-Charlotte provides the following programs that address specific challenges of youth in our community:

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.

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 distress.

Program Outcomes


students received targeted case-management services in 56 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 students’ identified goals were met or progress was made. 

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

(99%) CIS seniors graduated.
89% of CIS graduates planned to attend a 2-4 year college or university.
5% of CIS graduates planned to join the military or the workforce.

0 +

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

Financial Donors

Special thanks to the following for their financial support from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023.

Financial Summary

July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023*

Financial Support by Source

Individuals/Family Foundations 5,285,561
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools 1,754,129
Corporations/Organizations 919,399
Mecklenburg County 900,000
State of North Carolina 430,000
Private Foundations 417,500
Charlotte Merchants Foundation 400,000
Federal Government 334,465
In Kind Contributions 159,359
Religious Organizations/Civic Groups 144,535
Total Financial Support $10,744,948
Functional Expenses

Expenses (by Function)

Program Services 7,856,435
Management/General 997,590
Fundraising 862,220
Total Expenses $9,716,245

Net Assets

Total Net Assets $14,833,313

*Based on Audited Financial Statements by Foard and Company.

Meet Our Graduates in the Class of 2023!

We are proud of our 640 graduating Seniors in the Class of 2023!  Please meet three of our graduates below. 

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.

CIS in the News: The Power of Mentoring

Contributors of Goods and Services

Many thanks to the following for their contributions of goods and services from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023.

Meet Our DifferenceMakers® CLT

After a pause during the pandemic, our DifferenceMakers® CLT progam is back! Generously funded by The Gambrell Foundation, DifferenceMakers® CLT is an inter-generational leadership program that provides students with connections to community leaders, intentional workshops, a social justice capstone project, and a transformational trip to Washington, D.C. Check out this video of our most recent DifferenceMakers® cohort, who traveled to Washington in August 2023. Visit this web page to learn more about this unique leadership program.

Generously funded by

Gambrell Foundation_Logo_Color_Black

Thank You to our Event Sponsors

Board of Directors, 2023-24

Veronica Calderon, CIS Board Chair DeVry University
Bradley Brown Ally Financial Inc.
Niles K. Brown Grant Thornton LLP
Laetitia Dowd Dowd Advisory
Yulonda D. Griffin Mecklenburg County
Vida C. Harvey Novant Health
Dwight Jacobs Duke Energy
Andy Kalbaugh Civic Leader
Steve Lank Financial Resources Group Investment Services
Shivani Mehta Atrium Health
Steve Menaker RSM US LLP
Kenya Moses NSI Industries
Eric Norris Albemarle Corporation
Laura Poole Capitol
Ty Chandler Robinson Sunbelt Rentals
Nate Salley Audible Coaching and Consulting
Mordecai Scott Loftin & Co. Printers
Tom Scrivener Bank of America
Diamond R. Staton-Williams Atrium Health
Maxine W. Swayne US Bank
John A. Tate III Civic Leader

Our Team

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

CMS Schools Currently Served by CIS

Stay Connected

Have you considered including CIS in your will or estate plan? Your planned gift with CIS will enable us to plan for the future and ensure that future generations have every opportunity to succeed and live purposeful, meaningful lives. It’s easy to get started – learn more on our Planned Giving page or contact a member of our Advancement Team.

CIS Charlotte-Mecklenburg
© 2023 CIS Charlotte-Mecklenburg | All Rights Reserved