Tri-Cities HS standout athlete found his path to success

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Damari started the 2014-2015 school year off like so many ninth grade athletes, believing this was going to be his world. Damari had classes that he found more difficult than he ever experienced before.

He struggled to make good grades in all of his core classes early in the year. As his classroom performance began to decline, even his basketball coach pressed him to be sure he was doing his best. As a result of the added pressure, Damari quit the team he loved so much. Then, a pattern of negative behavior began to show – talking back to teachers, disobeying authority and spending time in in-school suspension while narrowly escaping out-of-school suspension several times.


CIS of Atlanta Site Coordinator La’Vonna Taylor counseled Damari, provided encouragement and constructive feedback, involved his parents, offered incentives and pushed him to try harder. With the added support of his teachers and mother, Damari came to accept the need to straighten out his attitude and give the ones that care about him a chance to reach him where he needed help. Damari humbled himself to apologize for his behavior, began attending tutorials and asked to come back to the team.


His efforts took him from failing four core classes to passing three classes. He continues to show a positive attitude and is more cooperative when called on in class. Another encouragement for Damari is that every improvement makes him eligible for CIS sponsored field trips. Damari ended ninth grade on a positive note and La'Vonna believes he will go through high school as one of the most popular students on campus.


Damari has his mind set on attending the University of Georgia in 2018 to play basketball.

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