Many Hands: One Year Later

On May 13, 2016, we received a phone call from our friend, Carolyn. After an intensive process, culminating in the previous night’s final presentations, she told us that we had won the grand prize from Many Hands, a local, woman-run giving circle.

The prize: $100,000.

The gift was meant to be transformative. And, for Reach, it was. Below are ten things we have been able to accomplish in the 365 days since that call.

10. Reach’s Board of Directors approved a 5-year growth plan through which we will grow to serve 1,100 participants by the fall of 2021. When we applied for the Many Hands grant, Reach was serving 240 participants.

9. Two of our authors – now college students – traveled to Philadelphia to read to students and talk with teens about their work with Reach. Through our friends at Shout Mouse Press, two authors were also invited to speak at Denison University.

6A6A95228. We launched a new scholarship program, granting $9,000 in scholarship funds to five deserving seniors (left). The scholarship program was created by our teen-run Rales Leadership Council, which presented the idea to our Board of Directors for approval.

7. We saw a 20% increase in the number of teens served in our Summer Leadership Academy.

6. We supported our seniors in being accepted to colleges, including Delaware State, NC A&T, Penn State, South Carolina State, Temple, VCU, Virginia State, and UDC. One of our teens, Randy, even became the poster boy in a Washington Post article because of his 12 college acceptances!

5. Our work was featured in publications from Harvard and Duke.

4. We distributed 2,500 of our teen-authored books, for free, to local schools and organizations through our annual book grant process.

3. We released four new books, authored by 14 teens, at a November event that featured DC Screen Shot 2016-11-30 at 4.50.15 PMCouncilmember David Grosso.

2.  Working with Shout Mouse Press, the DC Share Fund, and Inner City Inner Child (a local organization focused on early childhood education), we coordinated a sale of 3,000 copies of A to Z: The Real DC, one of our teen-authored books. These books will be distributed to young readers and early childhood educators across the city.

1. We launched three new program sites and grew a fourth, allowing us to serve an additional 110 participants this school year.

It’s been a busy year. But, thanks to Many Hands, we’re just getting started.

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