Our mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. CIS’ focus is to address two main problems that affect the community: school drop out rates and community violence. CIS works with at-risk students, children, and young adults to help them excel in today’s society.
Our vision is to mobilize our communities at the grass roots level to influence policy, develop leaders and resources that sustain peace efforts, and provide quality education and career opportunities for all young people.
Following the tragic death of William “Blinky” Rodriguez’ son in 1990, and the immediate reduction of gang violence resulting from the Valley Unity Peace Treaty he organized in 1993, Blinky’s transformative peace efforts expanded in 1994 when Communities In Schools’ Western Regional Director and long time friend, Bobby Arias partnered with him to create a CIS affiliate branch in the San Fernando Valley.
Bobby Arias’ extensive experience within the academic, university, and local government communities then began to blend effortlessly with Blinky’s strategic pro-active prevention and intervention work, and together they created a one-of-a-kind, comprehensive service model. Over the last 21 years, the CIS-SFVGLA Wrap-Around Integrated Service Delivery Approach has evolved and improved to include additional prevention modules and continues to transform lives with the following approach:
→ Identify high-risk youth/young adults
→ Provide awareness of possibilities that extend beyond the gang lifestyle
→ Help transition individuals away from gang life
→ Provide wrap-around supportive services
→ Stabilize highly vulnerable youth life activities
→ Model and promote healthy lifestyle choices
The unique strengths of CIS-SFVGLA to provide crisis, street, violence interruption and intervention servicing, prevention and viable alternatives to gang orientation and behavior, extensive social support servicing, community, cultural and faith-based engagement, education, personal development and job placement servicing, and agency and judicial advocacy servicing have set the organization apart from every other organization within the high-risk community or anywhere else for that matter.