#AlwaysThere: Mr. Vincent

Through the end of the year, we’ll be sharing stories that demonstrate our year-end campaign theme: #AlwaysThere. It’s what inspires Reach’s work, and it’s what we try to be for our kids. We hope you’ll use #AlwaysThere to tell us your stories using Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

And, when so inspired, we hope you’ll visit www.reachincorporated.org/alwaysthere to make a contribution.

This post is authored by R.E.L., a Lead Tutor at Ballou Senior High School, about Mr. Vincent, a Reach Program Instructor for the last three years.

It was just too much. They had given us a list of things we were required to take, but with all the life I had going on, I hadn’t been able to get everything. I was supposed to take a gift card with all my spending money. I was supposed to have hiking boots. Oh, and I needed a ride.

If I didn’t get to Cardozo soon, I would miss the bus. I was supposed to be leaving for an eleven-day trip to Guatemala with the DCPS Global Studies Program. I was definitely nervous, but I was excited, too.

I texted Mr. Vincent: “I’m not going.”

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R.E.L. holds up her #AlwaysThere poster, listing names of many people who support her unconditionally, including Reach alumnus Rico, Reach Lead Tutor Romel, and, on the right side in yellow,
Mr. Vincent.

Things weren’t going my way. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and everything was beginning to overwhelm me. I didn’t want to tell him at first, because I knew we were both excited about me going on this trip. He had helped me every step of the way so I could go. I couldn’t not tell him. I was expecting questions: What happened? What’s the issue? Are you nervous? Instead, he replied, “I’m on my way.”

When he arrived, he already had the gift card. When I told him I didn’t have the money, he said, “Don’t worry about it.”

I asked, “What about the boots?” He said, “Maybe you can find some there. We’re running out of time! Get in the car.”

I threw my stuff in the back seat and got in the car. We made it to Cardozo in record time…but the bus had already left. He asked where we were flying from, and I said the most dreaded word possible:

Dulles.

Again, he said, “Get in the car.”

We made it. I found my group, I got on the plane, and I had a great trip to Guatemala. This isn’t the first time that Mr. Vincent has been there for me, and it probably won’t be the last. He’s like a mentor – almost a father figure – to me.

When I think about that trip, I realize I would have been sad if I wasn’t there. That’s why I’m so glad that Mr. Vincent is #AlwaysThere.

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