News Room

Communities In Schools of Southern Nevada Celebrates 12th Annual Power Within

Communities In Schools of Southern Nevada Celebrates 12th Annual Power Within

LAS VEGAS, NEV (May 15, 2024) – Communities In Schools of Southern Nevada (CIS of Southern Nevada), part of the nation’s leading evidence-based stay-in-school organization serving 70,000-plus students in 80 schools throughout Clark County School District, recently recognized three students at its Power Within event for their remarkable improvement during the 2023-2024 school year. The outstanding students recognized for their scholastic and personal achievements include Jettie 'Ona Einfeldt from Paradise Elementary School; Gabriela Rodriguez from Monaco Middle School; and Justyce Roserie 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.

About the Power Within Honorees:

  • Jettie 'Ona Einfeldt, 5th grader, Paradise Elementary School – Shinia Wade, site coordinator at Paradise Elementary School, nominated Einfeldt for her remarkable growth, leadership skills and unmet potential that she recognized immediately after meeting her. Einfeldt is part of the school’s basketball club and loves to play the sport outside of school. She spent much of the year improving her attendance, studying for upcoming tests and turning to mentors like Wade for guidance. Einfeldt hopes to one day be part of Las Vegas’ Women’s National Basketball Association home team, Las Vegas Aces. She also aspires to be a teacher in physical education.
  • Gabriela Rodriguez, 8th grader, Monaco Middle School – Miranda Trobiani, site coordinator at Monaco Middle School, has worked with Rodriguez since she was in sixth grade and has seen her greatly mature over the past two years. Rodriguez has dramatically improved her overall behavior in school, particularly in social settings with other students. During her free time, she enjoys drawing and reading. Rodriguez hopes to one day become an immigration lawyer to help reunite people with their families or to become an ultrasound technician to help mothers through their pregnancy journeys.
  • Justyce Roserie, 12th grader, Las Vegas High School – Adan Martinez, site coordinator at Las Vegas High School, nominated Roserie for his resilience and hard work. Roserie found CIS after his mom encouraged him to explore additional resources. Since then, Roserie has worked to improve his grades, explore and apply for college scholarships and student financial aid and has maintained his status as a dedicated student athlete involved in football, track and wrestling. During his free time, he enjoys studying the bible. Roserie has younger siblings who inspire him to lead by example and prove that nothing is impossible when you put your mind to it. One day, he hopes to play professional football for the National Football League. Roserie also wants to help others overcome obstacles of their own, including homelessness, domestic violence and other hardships.

The nonprofit 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

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

About Communities In Schools of Nevada 

CIS places full-time and professionally trained site coordinators in 110 Title I and high-needs schools across Nevada to support more than 100,000 students in grades K-12 who face barriers to their success—increasing the likelihood of students staying in school and graduating on time. The organization taps into a statewide network of more than 120 community nonprofits, partners, and agencies, bringing the community into the school to get students whatever they need to overcome the barriers they face that prevent them from achieving academically. From eyeglasses, dental care, health care, and professional counseling to food, school supplies, clothing, and housing, CIS identifies student needs and finds a way to address them, closing the gaps they experience in their everyday lives. CIS's long-term vision is for every child enrolled in a Title I or high-needs school to access a CIS site coordinator and their evidence-based model of integrated student support, otherwise known as wraparound services. The graduation rate for CIS case-managed high school seniors in Nevada for the 2022 – 2023 school year was 95 percent. 

For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Contact: Cherryl Kaopua, [email protected], 702-408-8334