Founded in December 1999, IN REACH is a youth-driven, community-focused 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, non-profit organization positioned to respond to the unmet developmental and academic needs of children and youth.
Mission: IN REACH believes that students should always be in reach of a quality education, opportunities in their communities for development and, ultimately, their dreams. In order for IN REACH to be successful at helping students reach this goal, it prepares them for college, work and life.
Vision: IN REACH envisions healthy, productive and prepared young adults in every family.
When a former student writes a letter such as the one below, we know we have been successful. It is amazing to witness our students come full circle, from middle to high school to young adult in college, and to continue demonstrating core values instilled in them during their years in an IN REACH program.
June 15, 2016
Dear Ms. Smith,
Emailing you is bringing so many memories to me. You should know that I find myself implementing the various skills and life lessons that I have learned from you during my time as a Youth Ambassador on an everyday basis. I would like to take this time to thank you for all of the time and hard work you put into ensuring that my peers and I gained the skills we would need later on in our lives; your passion and dedication to your work is ever so admirable and has always meant so much to me.
Today, years later, I am a Junior at the The University of Maryland, and a group of my friends and I are working on developing a similar program which we have coined "The Sunflower Project". This 'project' will be an after school mentoring program (centered on the arts) for local students at the elementary and middle school level. As of now we are still in the drafting phase of the project, but plan to make it so that University of Maryland students who would like to volunteer with The Sunflower Project will each be assigned a student, or a group of students, to work with based on similar interests (for instance, a University of Maryland student who plays the guitar will be paired with a group of youth who would like to learn more about playing guitar, or those who write poetry will be paired with youth who would like to write and learn more about writing poetry). The project will come to a close with a talent show (during usual mentoring time) at the end of the school year.
With The Sunflower Project, my peers and I will have an opportunity to give back to the community that has given so much to us. The idea of that excites us greatly. However, having never started a program like this before, getting to that point has proven to be a challenge. Thus, I am reaching out to you to ask for a few words of advice. Is there anything you think we should know about running such a program in Prince Georges County Public Schools?
Although we will be receiving assistance on campus with forming the group and gaining volunteers, there is no one else I can think of who would know more about what it takes to effectively discuss the implementation of such programs with principles and higher-ups of elementary and middle schools in the area, as well as what it takes to successfully run such a program in that environment.
Wishing you the best, always.Kind regards,
University of Maryland, College Park, Senior, 2016-2017
The Youth Ambassadors High School College Access Program with a service learning heart begins collaborating with students in their sophomore year. Students participate in a variety of opportunities to build life skills through financial literacy, become college and career ready , and engage in meaningful service learning projects (as an UNICEF high school clubs) to address the issues that directly impact them locally and as global citizens.