Event Recap

CIS Celebrates 12th Annual Power Within

Power Within 2024 Team Picture

Communities In Schools of Southern Nevada (CIS of Southern Nevada), serving 70,000-plus students in 80 schools throughout Clark County School District, recognized students, staff and partners at the annual Power Within celebration.

The outstanding students recognized for their scholastic and personal achievements during the 2023-2024 school year include Jettie ‘Ona from Paradise Elementary School; Gabriela from Monaco Middle School; and Justyce from Las Vegas High School.

The accomplishments of these students are particularly exceptional despite facing challenging circumstances. CIS focuses on supporting students who are most vulnerable to dropping out in high needs schools throughout the region.

A special thank you to this year’s Power Within sponsors who made this event possible, Cox Communications, Nevada Association of School Administrators (NASA) and Shepard Exposition Services.

Meet our 2024 Power Within Honorees:

  • Justyce, 12th grader, Las Vegas High School – Watch Justyce’s story below to see why Adan Martinez, site coordinator at Las Vegas High School nominated this student for his resilience and hard work.
  • Gabriela, 8th grader, Monaco Middle School – Miranda Trobiani, site coordinator at Monaco Middle School, has worked with Gabby since she was in sixth grade and has seen her greatly mature over the past two years. See how she has dramatically improved her overall behavior in school, and is setting her goals high to achieve in life.
  • Jettie ‘Ona, 5th grader, Paradise Elementary School – Shinia Wade, site coordinator at Paradise Elementary School, nominated Jettie ‘Ona for her remarkable growth, leadership skills and unmet potential that she recognized immediately after meeting her. Watch her story below.

CIS of Southern Nevada also named Yesenia Guitierrez, a CIS site coordinator at J.D. Smith Middle School, as the Martin Serrano “Unsung Hero of the Year” for her unyielding commitment to bettering the lives and wellbeing of students at JD Smith Middle School. The “Unsung Hero of the Year” award is named after Serrano, a CIS site coordinator who made a lasting, positive impact on hundreds of students who turned to him during his time with the organization. Like Serrano, recipients find ways to invest in the success of the community, take time to understand the values of the people we serve and recognize the strength and impact that comes from positive relationships.  

Power Within recognized the following partners for their remarkable contributions to CIS and our students:

  • Academy Teacher of the Year – Nitza Mestre from Eldorado High School
  • Academy Partner of the Year – Public Service Nevada and Senator Valerie Wiener (Ret.)
  • Programmatic Partner of the Year – Air 1’s Dare to Dream
  • Principals of the Year – Chris Popek, principal of Monaco Middle School and his wife, Sarah Popek, principal of Myrtle Tate Elementary School
Pictured: Sarah Popek and Chris Popek.
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