Our – Story
Leslie & Beulah-Founders
When my husband Leslie and I learned that our daughter would not be allowed to graduate with her high school class in 2001, we became parent advocates. She was faced with this devastating issue, because she could not pass all parts of the required state tests. Our daughter had been diagnosed with Specified Learning Disabilities (SLD) at an early age. We felt that students who suffered from SLD should be able to receive a certificate, participate in graduation exercise, and be given a chance to later re-take failed parts of the required state tests to receive a diploma. All our daughter wanted was to experience the feeling of marching with her class.
We presented our concerns and a sound argument to the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE). MDE agreed, but left the final decision up to the school district. Unfortunately, for our daughter and for our family, the Holmes County School Board failed to agree.
After much distress and frustration with the Holmes County School System and the Holmes County School Board, we allowed God to minister to our hearts. It was then that we began to heal and ask for forgiveness for those who, in our opinion, simply did not understand how to deal with matters as they were.
We later realized that things happen for a reason, and that what happened to our family was predestined. It was at that moment that we made a vow to help others in a way that the school district was unable to help Takila.
Thus, the Community Students Learning Center (CSLC) was born in our hearts and minds — desperate parents who wanted to save others from the pain and often ridicule our family suffered.
Today, the Community Students Learning Center now has a great working relationship with the Holmes County School Board, Superintendent, teachers and staff. I have even been blessed with the opportunity serve as a team monitor member for the MDE Office of Special Education where I have traveled across the state educating parents regarding their rights and laws as they relate to their child/children with special needs.
Throughout our difficult ordeal, especially for me as a mother, my husband Leslie was a “strong tower” who encouraged me to move forward and allow God to direct my path. We both are grateful, and we humbly see ourselves only as an instrument (for we are one) being used by God.
God has blessed our bud of an idea to blossom into a full blown, yet still growing, non-profit organization that is positively impacting the lives of many families. The idea began as an effort to assist at-risk students who could not pass the state mandated tests, but now the vision has expanded to include all the programs and services listed here on our website and more.
We look forward to using them in serving you and your family as we continue on our God-given mission of “Helping Others to Improve Their Quality of Life” – our motto.