Dudley High School Senior Trevor Bolin exemplifies wisdom far beyond his 17 years. A writer, boxer, cook, mentee and mentor, Trevor is looking forward to his high school graduation in 2015 and what lies ahead for him.

“When I came to high school–I’m not going to lie–I didn’t care,” he says. “I was ready to be out of school and just be on my own, and that’s sad for a 9th grade student to say that.”

“I had great parents. I had a great life with them. I just had issues I had to deal with and I had to find myself. The CIS staff gave me that hope. They were that light in the dark [for me].”

CIS is Communities in Schools, an organization focused on surrounding students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. United Way of Greater Greensboro invests in and supports CIS’ Success in Schools programs as a part of its work to help young people succeed in school and in life. Trevor has been an advocate for the work CIS and United Way of Greater Greensboro make happen together, speaking at various events on behalf of the two organizations.

Trevor says that he knows what it’s like to live in poverty and go without. He also knows loss. His mother passed away during his sophomore year at Dudley. “I never thought I’d be the same again,” he says.

“I believe, if I can just take it one person at a time, I can change the world.”

Trevor credits the CIS staff with helping him to cope with that tragedy in his life and to envision a bright future for himself. He has been a part of just about every program CIS offers at Dudley, as well as Upward Bound and Diversity Club. CIS staff even helped him enroll in Culinary Arts classes to foster his love of cooking. his favorite family recipe: Fry Bread. “But it’s a secret and nobody can know how we make it,” he insists with a smile.

What he seems most excited about is Brother to Brother, a mentoring club he joined in his freshman year. Once a mentee in the club, he now mentors other young men at Dudley High School.

“I have to help these kids not make the stupid mistakes I made. I have to help these kids to be better than me.”

Trevor credits Brother to Brother with helping him become a “humble leader”.

“I believe, if I just take it one person at a time, I can change the world,” he says. “And I want to start with the younger generation because they are what is going to build my future.”

“You cannot go through life just me, me, me,” he says. “You have to learn to understand other people around you. I believe that students having that support not only gives them a moral boost to be something great, but others to be something great, because they spread that positive influence.”

Trevor calls high school a “life-changing journey”. As he approaches this journey’s end he is preparing for life after high school by working on college applications and scholarship opportunities with his case manager Angie Carter. He has his sights set on attending North Carolina A&T State University or The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, eventually landing a career in social work.

“I don’t like seeing people go without,” he says. “That’s why I admire what United way does. [United Way] believes what I believe; no one deserves to have to go through homelessness or hunger. That is a horrible feeling; that is a horrible thing to go through. No one wants to go through that. Everybody deserves help…that second chance.”24