North Carolinians Named CIS Baldwin Fellows

Program Established to Combat the Current Trend of Early Retirement and Shifting Roles Among Nonprofit Leaders

Raleigh, NC, December 01, 2006 --( Communities In Schools, Inc. (CIS), the nation’s largest community-based dropout prevention organization, has named Cindy Kowal, executive director of Communities In Schools of Cumberland County, and Cynthia Marshall, founding executive director of Communities In Schools of Charlotte/Mecklenburg, to its inaugural class of Robert H.B. Baldwin Fellows. The national year-long program addresses the issues of leadership retention, development and transition in the nonprofit sector.

The CIS Robert H.B. Baldwin Fellows Program, named after the former CEO of Morgan Stanley and the organization’s founding board chairman, draws from both veteran and emerging Communities In Schools leaders for full-time or part-time fellowships. These fellowships are open to leaders in any of the more than 200 Communities In Schools state and local affiliates, which are located in 27 states and the District of Columbia. The participants will undergo leadership training and pursue a research project that will provide a professional benefit to the Fellow, an organizational benefit to the Fellow’s home office and a broad benefit to the CIS network and the nonprofit sector.

“We are delighted to have two of the inaugural group of Baldwin Fellows chosen from North Carolina,” said Linda Harrill, President and CEO of Communities In Schools of NC (CISNC). “CISNC is fortunate to frequently have leaders such as Cynthia Marshall and Cindy Kowal investing in our state. Our students and our state have made great strides due to the hard work of all our CIS executive directors, board members and volunteers.”

Ms. Marshall served as the executive director of Communities In Schools of Charlotte/Mecklenburg for 21 years. She has also been a board member for Child Care Resources, the Family Center, the Children’s Law Center, the United Way Planning Council, and the County Task Force on School Dropouts. Ms. Marshall has received numerous local and state awards for her work on behalf of children. Through her fellowship, she will research effective college-access programs and develop tools for improving CIS students’ rates of college admission and successful retention.

Ms. Kowal, the executive director for Communities In Schools of Cumberland County, has taught at the K-12 and college levels and has held management positions in the private sector. She has served as the executive director of the Cumberland County Education Foundation. Through her fellowship, she will study best practices and develop effective strategies and tools for recruiting college students to serve as CIS volunteers while in school and enter CIS careers upon graduation.

About Communities In Schools of NC, Inc.
Communities In Schools has earned its place as the nation’s leading community-based organization helping kids succeed in schools and prepare for life. There are 36 local operational affiliates in North Carolina serving 400 schools and other sites. During the past school year, CIS served over 120,000 youth and family members and it maintains a presence in the four largest school districts in North Carolina. For more information on CISNC visit

Communties in Schools of NC
Graham Wilson