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#AlwaysThere: Essence

($11,071 Raised on $200,000 Goal as of 12/2/2019)

On her first day tutoring Renard at Beacon House, Reach's sole community-based site, Essence could be seen getting a bit frustrated. Reading didn’t come easily to Renard, and he grew frustrated easily. He made tutoring difficult, and Essence was feeling it.

A member of Reach’s staff pulled Essence aside. “Tell me what you’re feeling.” Essence stopped and thought before explaining her frustrations and her desire for Renard to do what she asked. She didn't even think he was trying. “But you know what happens if we stop trying," the staff member continued. "If we say a seven year old doesn’t care and can’t be taught, who do you think he'll be at 16? Your decision right now matters a lot.”

Essence got it. She shook her head. She went back to work. She hasn’t stopped since. Renard has difficulty managing his emotions, and reading doesn’t come easily, but he has become attached to Essence. Now, he does what’s asked. When he gets frustrated, he’s learned how to take deep breaths to calm down. He’s making progress - really impressive progress - and Essence deserves the credit.

Not only is Essence an incredible tutor, but she recently became a published author. One of the authors of Finding Mumbo, Essence will now get to share her book. We have a feeling it might become Renard’s favorite.

Essence gets what it means to be #AlwaysThere for her student. And, in honor of her work, we hope you'll be #AlwaysThere for Reach. Please make a contribution today to help us reach our goal of raising $200,000 by the end of the month.

To listen to Essence describe her relationship with Renard in her own words, click here.

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