Dear William Rainey Harper Families,
Welcome back to a new school year! My name is Kenzie Hanlon, and I am very excited to introduce myself as the new Say Yes Cleveland Family Support Specialist at William Rainey Harper! As a licensed social worker in the field for 6 years as both a community-based case manager and a school-based therapist, I am thrilled to be joining this wonderful team of educators, scholars and families.
The Family Support Specialist position is new to William Rainey Harper this year under the Say Yes Cleveland organization. Say Yes Cleveland is a new local organization that provides two big things for CMSD students: support services while in CMSD schools, and tuition scholarships after high school. Say Yes Cleveland began providing support services last year in 16 CMSD schools and is expanding this year to an additional 26 schools, with the goal of having a family support specialist in every CMSD school by 2023.
For current CMSD students, Say Yes Cleveland will provide important support services to help students overcome barriers and stay on-track to success. As our school’s Family Support Specialist, my role will be to help connect students and families to services like free legal assistance, food access, technology access, afterschool and summer programming (once COVID restrictions are lifted), and much more.
Once students graduate from a CMSD high school, Say Yes Cleveland provides scholarships covering the cost of college or postsecondary tuition, after federal and state grants, to every eligible CMSD graduate for the next 25 years. To be eligible for a scholarship, a student must continuously reside within CMSD boundaries and be continuously enrolled in a CMSD high school from 9th grade through graduation.
Although our families and scholars will be engaging in distance learning for the first 9 weeks, I am still very much available and will be a continuous presence at William Rainey Harper. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me by phone or email at any time. I look forward to serving the William Rainey Harper community, educators, scholars and families and hope to meet you all in person one day soon!
Best wishes on a new school year!
Family Support Specialist