Youth Mental Health First Aid Sessions Open for July

Our community has witnessed a 20% increase in self harm and violent behaviors in our children between the ages of 10 and 19. To combat this, CISDR will provide training to help our community identify risk indicators, connect to resources, and save a young person’s life.

Youth Mental Health First Aid is the evidence-based intervention training designed to help adults identify, react to and support a child (age 10-18) experiencing a mental health or addiction issues or is in active crisis. The course introduces common mental health challenges, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan on how to intervene. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance abuse, disorders inclusive of psychosis indicators, disruptive behavior disorders, and eating disorders.

This is an 8 hour certificate course, covered in two 4 hour sessions.

  • Dr. Judith Allen
  • $40 – training material, manual
  • 1341 W Mockingbird Ln, Ste 125E, Dallas, TX 75247
  • July 17 (1 pm – 5 pm) & 18 (8 am – 12 noon)
  • July 25 (1 pm – 5 pm) & 26 (8 am – 12 noon)

Registration (page 1 of 2)

Please use the form below to register. CISDR Staff, please contact us at


“Thanks so much for sharing your expertise and time with us. It was a rewarding two days of training. I’ve already been sharing information about what we learned with others. Thanks again.”
–P.W., McKinney

“It’s great and uncomfortable at the same time.”

“Surprised by scope and content, with real world applications that make sense.”
–Anonymous, Plano

“This course was very helpful in being able to deal with my child, who has a behavioral diagnosis, wish I’d had this sooner.”
–S.B., Dallas

“Excellent pace, many opportunities to personalize to us and our school district.”

“The information is presented in such a way that anyone can understand and act. Very engaging, not just sitting around taking notes!”
–L.V., Garland

“Thanks so much for offering this training, I think I am now better equipped to serve the students at my campus. I really enjoyed getting the opportunity to not only hear about the strategies but process through skills learned.”
–Megan H.

“I found the training very helpful and useful for the line of work that we do on daily basis. Definitely looking forward to more trainings. Thank you again for this opportunity.”
–Rebecca W.

We would like to thank everyone who came out to the CISDR Benefit at Snooze, an AM Eatery in Addison on Sunday, June 3, 2018. We were absolutely amazed by the outpouring of support from our board members, staff and all our supporters old and new. Special thanks to all the hardworking staff at Snooze! We greatly appreciate everything you’ve done for the students we serve.

We’re so excited to invite you to join us for breakfast Sunday, June 3rd at our new community partner location, Snooze (an AM Eatery)!

The new Snooze location in Addison is helping us get the word out about the Communities In Schools of the Dallas Region (CISDR) mission, while thanking supporters like you! How, you ask?

Snooze will be offering free breakfast to CISDR supporters on Sunday, June 3rd from 8am-1pm at their new restaurant at 5100 Belt Line Road, Suite 824, Addison, Texas 75254.

This celebration of YOU is a chance for Snooze to meet their new community and at the same time support CISDR, before their official grand opening Wednesday, June 6th. They’re happy to take care of your breakfast and any non-alcoholic beverages. CISDR staff will be on hand to tell you more about our work this year, share stories and meet you in person!

Contributions are welcome and go directly to CISDR, supporting the kids of our area who need it most!

This is a special invitation and RSVP only, so see below to make your reservation and we can’t wait to see you!

Go to to make a reservation. The site is password protected; enter SNOOZEADDISON2018 to access. This is an RSVP only soft opening, so please be sure to make reservations for June 3rd as soon as possible to ensure your place at the table! (Reservations for parties of 6 or less.) If you have any questions, please email us at Can’t wait to see you there!

With our Connected Community Luncheon coming up tomorrow, May 31, 2018, we’d like to take a look at our speakers. Today, we’re taking a look at our keynote speaker, Ron Guerrier.

Ron Guerrier

Ron Guerrier

Ron Guerrier joined Express Scripts in April 2018 as Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer. In this senior leadership position, Ron is responsible for leading all aspects of Express Scripts’ technology organization. He manages overall information technology strategy and performance, with a focus on innovation and process improvements to improve the end-user experience. Ron reports to Express Scripts Executive Vice President & Chief Operations Officer Neal Sample.

Prior to joining Express Scripts, Ron was Executive Vice President & Chief Information Officer with Farmers Insurance Group, where he led a team of 5,300 in establishing technology as a competitive advantage for the company. Prior to that, he held positions of increasing responsibility during a 20-year career at Toyota, including leadership roles in the Motor Sales and Financial Services divisions with the last role as Chief Information Officer. In each role, Ron consistently found ways to accelerate company growth by creating global technology strategies linked to business capabilities and goals.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a master’s degree in operations management and supervision from North Park University. In addition, he has earned a certificate in IT management from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, an executive certificate in developing organizational innovation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Sloan School of Management, a certificate in innovation from the University of California, Berkeley; and a certificate in IT performance management from Boston University Questrom School of Business.

Ron is chairman of the Board of IS Associates at the University of California, Los Angeles. He volunteers as an executive advisor for STEMAdvantage, a non-profit organization that opens doors for young women and underserved communities to pursue their dreams of a career in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Throughout his career, Ron has earned numerous honors and awards, including CIO Breakaway Leader of the Year, Digital Edge50 Award, CIO Lifetime Achievement Award, and was included in the Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America List. He has also written numerous articles for publications such as Entrepreneur, CIO Review and Fortune Magazines.

To hear more from Ron Guerrier, join us this Thursday at 11am at Canyon Creek Country Club in Richardson. Use the form below to register today.


  • $0.00

Thank You to Our Sponsors

With our Connected Community Luncheon coming up this Thursday, May 31, 2018, we’d like to take a look at our speakers. Today, we’re spotlighting Sandra Hayes, Assistant Superintendent of Operations for Richardson Independent School District (ISD).

Sandra Hayes

Sandra Hayes

Sandra Hayes has 30 years of experience in education, all in Richardson ISD. She began her tenure as a teacher and coach at the junior high level, then moved to central administration. She held positions with the Curriculum & Instruction department, Instructional Technology department, and Career & Technical Education department before she was appointed the Assistant Superintendent of Technology.

Presently, Sandra is the Assistant Superintendent of Operations for the district. Her formal education consists of an Associate’s Degree in Arts and Sciences from Dallas County Community College District, a Bachelor of Science in Education from University of North Texas and a Master of Science in Education from Texas A & M. Pursuing education as a life-long learner, she recently completed her Superintendent Certification in a doctoral program at the University of North Texas.

To hear more from Sandra Hayes, join us this Thursday at 11am at Canyon Creek Country Club in Richardson. Use the form below to register today.


  • $0.00

Thank You to Our Sponsors

With our Connected Community Luncheon coming up this Thursday, May 31, 2018, we’d like to take a look at our speakers. First up is the Mayor Harry Rosiliere. Mayor LaRosiliere (La Ross eh lee air) was elected Mayor of Plano in 2013. He was sworn in as Plano’s 39th Mayor and is the first African American to be elected to this office. In May of 2017, he was sworn in for a second term. Prior to this he proudly served his community for six years as a two-term City Council Member.

Harry LaRosiliere

Harry LaRosiliere

Mayor LaRosiliere is active in the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) where he serves as Chair Mayor LaRosiliere’s primary focus is to create robust economic development that generates an upward cycle of prosperity for all. The Mayor advocates through a strong local economy the City will have the resources to deliver quality services, revitalize neighborhoods and invest in thoroughfares. In a few short years Plano has emerged as a regional employment destination. The recent successes during his tenure include major corporate relocations such as: Toyota, FedEx Office, Liberty Mutual Insurance, JP Morgan Chase and Co., and Boeing to name a few.

on the prominent Transportation and Communications Committee. Mayor LaRosiliere’s leadership in the USCM provides Plano a voice in national conversations through this bipartisan organization.

Mayor LaRosiliere is equally passionate about fostering a sense of community. He views a crucial role of being a Mayor is to inspire our citizens, especially our youth, to believe they live in the best city in the nation and encourage them to give back to their community through services. This is reflected through two community initiatives he helped launch. The Nourishing Hope Program affirms to our food insecure elementary students and their families that they will be provided access to nutritious food when needed throughout the year. He also helped to implement the Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program which has given hundreds of senior high students real-world workplace experience through an eight week paid internship.

Mayor LaRosiliere is a financial advisor with a global wealth management firm. He often says, “My life is a three legged stool with family, work and public service which rests on my faith.” He lives a life of passion so he can contribute the most he can. With all of his accomplishments, he is most proud of his family. He especially enjoys spending time with his wife Tracy, and their two daughters, Brianna and Maya.

To hear more from Mayor LaRosiliere, join us this Thursday at 11am at Canyon Creek Country Club in Richardson. Use the form below to register today.


  • $0.00

Thank You to Our Sponsors

National Life Group FoundationWe are pleased to announce that National Life Group Foundation has awarded a $50,000 one-time grant to Communities In Schools of the Dallas Region, Inc. (CISDR) in support of high need students and families.

Since 2013, National Life Group Foundation has awarded $140,000 to CISDR, as champions in the mission to address the needs of “at-risk” students through daily, campus based interventions. This allocation will provide coordinated services addressing poverty, homelessness, untreated mental health issues, etc, resulting in academic improvement, improved social behavior, grade level promotion and graduation rates.

We are very thankful for everything National Life Group Foundation has done for students of our local community. Stay tuned for more as we celebrate them next month!

Ron Guerrier

Ron Guerrier

Ron Guerrier, keynote speaker at CISDR’s Connected Community Luncheon on May 31, 2018, is moving on his career: As The Wall Street Journal reports:

Express Scripts Holding Co. announced this week that Ron Guerrier will be the company’s new chief information officer in an executive transition that comes amid the company’s sale to health insurer Cigna Corp.

Mr. Guerrier, formerly executive vice president and CIO at Farmers Insurance Group, will begin his new role on April 16. He has more than 20 years of experience as a corporate IT manager, having also held the role of CIO at Toyota Financial Services Corp.

Tickets and sponsorships for the May 31 luncheon are still available. Also joining us to speak on the impact of the tech industry are City of Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere and Richardson ISD Assistant Superintendent over Technology Sandra Hayes. Click here to learn more, or contact us at

Using the Power of Community to Change Kids’ Lives

When students are faced with insurmountable barriers – lack of access to adequate healthcare, the death of a parent, trouble at home– that might keep them from actualizing their dreams, Communities In Schools is there. But we cannot do this work alone. We need you.


Right now, in the U.S. there are 14.5 million children living in poverty. The collateral effects of being in the margins of society follow these young people as they go to school each day.  That’s why Communities In Schools works inside k-12 schools to help underserved students reach their potential by offering access to resources.

Our work spans 25 states and the District of Columbia. We’ve helped more than 1.5 million kids stay in school to focus on their education, and there’s so much more work to be done. By chipping in $5 today you are advancing the Communities In Schools mission of ensuring all kids have the opportunity to succeed in life.

Monica Ordonez (CISDR VP), Jared Hughes (HGMS site coordinator), Eritrea (CISDR Alum & HGMS staff), and Daniel Horsch (new CISDR board member)

I would say the best adjective to use for my personality as a child was spunky.

At school, I was a whirlwind of energy, mess of curls, and unstoppable talking force. I was also 11 and along with the usual struggles of becoming a young lady, I was attempting to deal with type one diabetes and an unstable home environment. I started middle school at Lorenzo De Zavala in 2004. My elementary education was a mix of private schooling, public schooling, and some of my education being attained in Mexico a few years prior. At home I was the only girl in a family of 3 younger boys and my parents. My mom was from a small town in Mexico called Rio Verde. She’d gone to college and had a degree in chemical engineering. My father had been in the child militia of East Africa, the Horn of Africa, and had escaped to seek refuge in the US at age 17. For as opposite as their cultures were, they shared a few similarities. Both of my parents had no one in this country and they both didn’t speak the language when they arrived. I was raised to believe that life was hard for everyone and that although you didn’t decide the location of your birth, you could make the best of your situation regardless. My parents were loving but honest to a fault. They had no patience or tolerance for crying, misbehavior or disrespect. It wasn’t tolerated and was addressed swiftly. Money was always tight around my house. Dad worked about 16 hours a day and Mom stayed home with me and the boys to take care of us and the house, but mostly to keep up with my appointments and my own health problems. They tried their best, but both of them were from other countries with no idea as to how the American system worked and with too much pride to ever ask for help, so usually we just went without. My parents worked really hard to provide my brothers and I with school, shelter, food, water, and clothing. They loved us fiercely and raised us as best they could.  Coming into middle school, in a small suburban town where all the kids knew each other since pre-school, was intimidating and at times felt impossible. It was difficult to make friends. I wasn’t extraordinarily athletic. I was smart but I wasn’t a genius. I couldn’t identify with one specific race so some groups wouldn’t let me in their clique while others would. I felt lost. I tried my best to just be myself but being yourself at 11, when you don’t know who you are yet, is really hard.

Throughout middle school, I spent a lot of my time in the central office with the nurse. Being a type one insulin dependent diabetic was a struggle for me. My hormones always seemed to be out of whack which in turn resulted in my body going through a rollercoaster of death until I ultimately (almost always) ended up in the hospital. After a while, most of the staff at my school realized that accommodations needed to be made in order for me to succeed in school. The school nurse at the time, Ms. Beauchamp, introduced me to Ms. Kendria Taylor, the CIS Site Coordinator. Ms. Taylor was young, a graduate from UNT, and she was spunky too! She always smelled good and her jangly James Avery bracelet with all her charms for her accomplishments was something I admired. Her CIS office was in the central office where I spent a class period being an office aide and seeing the nurse for my health. It was perfect for me. I started getting more and more involved with other students who were also in CIS.  I didn’t have any sisters or cousins or friends to talk to about boys, middle school drama, how to do my hair. I didn’t have a role model at home who looked like me or who could understand my day to day challenges. Becoming a young lady with no type of guide was something I didn’t understand. Now as an adult, as I reflect I can see that Ms. Taylor was doing something for me that no one had done before. As a young Afro Latina girl, she gave me the opportunity to glance into my own future and see how much better life could get if I could just keep pushing and get through the critical hard years. I would eat lunch in her office or work on my homework if I had free time. She helped me feel like I had a friend in a school where I couldn’t identify with any of the children. More importantly, she was one of the only adults I felt actually took an interest in the things that were happening to me and advised me on how to persevere.

Jared Hughes (HGMS site coordinator) and Daniel Horsch (CISDR board member)

My first summer after being a part of CIS, I got to go to Dallas Cowboys Camp. Ms. Taylor chaperoned me and about 6 other girls in the CIS van. We played football with some of the Cowboys players, got to meet the cheerleaders. They gave us t-shirts and hats and pictures and back packs. It was the most fun I got to have with more girls my age in a long time.  That was one of the best weeks of my young adult life. I had a blast and more importantly I made friends! This one of the first times I was able to get along with other girls my age and I knew it had everything to do with CIS. They encouraged me to try with the other girls, to be kind, to keep trying even if I felt discouraged. She made me understand that I was special. That I was smart, and pretty and gifted and people would be happy to have me as a friend. I didn’t fully understand that until she explained it to me.

A few years later, It was time for the 8th grade dance. 8th grade was another struggle. I spent the majority of the year hospitalized for different issues. Ms. Taylor would bring me my homework and assignments to Children’s Hospital to make sure I got them done so I could go to high school. I was really worried at the hospital that I wouldn’t get to go to the 8th grade dance. Ms. Taylor helped me make sure I got all my assignments were turned in and my grades were high enough to get permission to go. I couldn’t believe it when my parents agreed! I WAS SO NERVOUS. There was a boy, Drew, that I particularly wanted to ask me to the dance. Long story short he did! And when I told Ms. Taylor her face lit up for me! It was like having a big sister be super excited for you. She recommended a hairdresser to do my hair for the dance and talked to my mom about getting me an outfit. Everything was set and ready to go. My mom dropped me off at the dance and I ran inside. When I got there, Drew was dancing with another girl. I was heartbroken. When I asked him what was going on, he simply told me he just needed me to buy his ticket to the dance. I recall Ms Taylor later telling me that I was beautiful, any boy would be lucky to have me pay attention to him, and that in the future he would regret it. I didn’t care about any of that then, it was so painful that type of rejection to my young heart, but it stayed with me over the years.

My Site Coordinator at the time, Ms. Taylor, and CIS legitimately changed the course of my life. There have been other students, some who came with us to Cowboys camp, that didn’t stay in the program and haven’t fared as well as I. A few of them didn’t graduate high school, another has 6 children. It’s the luck of the draw. Life is tough and it only gets tougher. I already was raised to know that life was difficult, but Ms. Taylor taught me that things were painful but survivable. She taught me that everyone has a future but that it’s up to you, not your situation, your parents, your friends, JUST YOU. A hand can always be helpful, but its up to you to make things happen.  She and CIS were a lifeboat when I was trying to get through the Titanic. That is what CIS did for me. It gave me a hope. Someone to be my ally during those confusing years in every teenager’s life. It taught me life skills I wouldn’t have learned at home and that I didn’t have in my classrooms with teacher.  I will always be eternally grateful to CIS and to the opportunities it gave me.

Where am I now? I am a college graduate and working as the registrar at Hector Garcia Middle School in Dallas ISD. Imagine my joy to find a CIS office here, where students can find hope, connection and a kind hand to guide them thru the chaos of being a kid.