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Communities In Schools of the Dallas Region (CISDR) has helped thousands of students graduate high school since 1985, but the Class of 2020 has faced a unique set of challenges. Nowhere is that more true than at Thomas Jefferson High School in Dallas ISD, which faced both a tornado and a pandemic in a single school year. Thankfully, CISDR Site Coordinator Joseph Cruz worked tirelessly on and off campus to help his caseload, more than 50% of which were seniors.

“They were a great class and deserved much more. I am proud of each and everyone of them and everything they have accomplished,” said Mr. Cruz. “It was a privilege to serve and build relationships with my CISDR students this past year. Personally I believe these students, especially my seniors, deserved much more but in their finest hour they were able to show their resilience and determination to graduate/get promoted to the next level. I will never forget this past school year. All the emotions my students experienced and expressed. It was truly a challenging year, being able adapt to a new environment two days after losing their campus to a tornado and then also surviving virtual academic work during a pandemic. I am proud of each and everyone of my students and their accomplishments.”