When Marlene, a Communities In Schools volunteer, first met Gayle, she had one goal: help Gayle pass middle school. Gayle had failing grades, low self-esteem, and was challenged by physical handicaps and significant learning disabilities. Each week Marlene would meet Gayle at school for lunch. They went on nature walks, worked on sewing projects, and visited art museums. Soon Gayle’s grades began to climb. After four years together, Gayle has worked to overcome her challenges and is making A's and B's. She has gained self-confidence and public speaking skills and is preparing for college. "Marlene keeps telling other people how much I have achieved," says Gayle. "I’m not sure if she realizes that a lot of it is because of her."