Shyenne’s Story

To Shyenne Williams, her role as the new CIS Site Coordinator at Kalkaska Middle School is much more than a job.

It’s her calling.

She realized that two years ago while working as a para-pro, prior to joining Communities In Schools (CIS) of Northwest Michigan.

“I was mentoring a student who lost their father unexpectantly,” she said. “That was a very pivotal moment in my life.  All I wanted was to be a support for her. Because of that, I was motivated to put myself in a position where I could help others.”

Shyenne has done just that.

Now her responsibilities include bridging the gap between students and community resources.

“My caseload is about 10 percent of the student body and my goal is to maintain healthy relationships with my students, middle school staff and community partners,” she said. “It’s basically being a trusted adult to help my kids realize they can do what it takes to get through school.”

With the help of a caring Kalkaska Middle School staff, Shyenne feels she and CIS are making a difference.

“I think we’re having a very positive impact,” she said. “Stability is what most of my students need. I think having an adult they know is listening will help makes their day better… even if it’s just a little better.”

Shyenne knew about CIS as a Mancelona High School graduate. But her strong family was her support system. Now she has a 3-year-old daughter “who teaches me something new every single day.”

When she’s not working she enjoys her family, playing softball and doing photography.

But her work is paramount to her, even though that’s not what she went to college for.

“I started in visual communications and was not interested in any kind of social work,” she said. “But once I started working with these kids and found my niche, it all clicked. I knew I wanted to work with these students and make a difference.”