Age 13.
Attending Arlington Middle School.

A Girl Scout and athlete, Mariah loved elementary school; she loved her teachers; she loved going outside for recess.

But as she entered sixth grade, school changed for Mariah. That critical transition year from elementary to middle catches many students, and Mariah was one of them.

Although she did not have behavior problems, many of her friends did, and the distractions affected her schoolwork. Her grades began to slip, and she missed so much school that she had to meet with a truancy officer.

But before she got too off track, she was identified in the Arlington Middle School’s early warning system. Through the United Way’s Achievers for Life program, Mariah got extra assistance in school. She was matched with a student advocate as well as a mentor that met with her weekly.

“I opened up to her,” Mariah said. “I was able to get some things off my chest.”

She got help in math and reading, and after a year, Mariah raised her grades. Her attendance improved dramatically, and she has not missed any more days of school. Because of her improved performance and positive attitude, Mariah was chosen for a Take Stock In Children scholarship. She also made choices in her social circle, finding friends who encourage her to go to college.

Today, the cheerleader/ track runner is set up for success, thanks to a school-community partnership with long-lasting results.