With each year, the number of Program Instructors working with our young people grows. These exceptionally talented people are our front line. They train our tutors, supervise tutoring sessions, support our young people during hard times, and celebrate them when things go well.
This year, we had 12 incredible instructors, and we thank them for their tremendous service to our tutors and their students.
At Anacostia, Mr. Chibundu’s loud laugh and sense of humor were matched with Ms. Shekinah’s intense concern and curiosity. For the second year in a row, Ms. Quilla ran things solo at Beacon House, and we’re so proud of her decision to pursue graduate studies in Social Work. Ms. Stacy and Mr. Vincent created a true family with the Ballou cohort working at King. And, our other group of Ballou tutors, working at Simon, were lead by Ms. Sully’s high energy with Mr. John calmly shaking his head nearby.
Ms. Paiyal and Mr. James were the perfect pair to launch our program at Dunbar. The kids loved them, and they clearly enjoyed each other as well. Though we have lost instructors mid-year before, it never pained anyone like it pained Mr. James. That showed us how much it mattered to him. We were incredibly appreciative of the work Ms. Sisi did stepping in and stepping up at the end of the year.
And, finally, there was Eastern. Ms. Courtney brought a new energy to Eastern’s team of tutors. When conflict emerged, Ms. Courtney always felt comfortable steering into it and having conversations that may make others uncomfortable.
Every one of these instructors made this year work. Our participants love Reach. You can feel it on the last day when you see both tutors and students crying. When teens pull away, not wanting to say goodbye. When people linger, knowing there’s not a next session. This work is hard. Very hard. And we appreciate all you do to support, celebrate, and instruct the young people we serve.
And, of course, there is one person missing from the list above: Mr. Headen. Jeremiah started as a Program Instructor five years ago. As he moves on from Eastern, and from our work, we are immensely grateful for all he gave to Reach. His first cohort of tutors now includes both a Morehouse man and a Marine. His Reach kids are high school graduates and they will forever smile when his name is mentioned. Thank you for all your work, Mr. Headen.
Our work simply would not be possible without the caring and consistent commitment demonstrated by this group. We hope you’ll join us in thanking them for their work this year.