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#AlwaysThere: Nicole Harkin

Nicole Harkin By Suling Miller, Deputy Director for Development


When you start fundraising for a new organization – as I did last year – you quickly learn about the major players. You have board members, major donors, institutional funders. Then there are those who show up in other ways. And, I quickly learned, few people show up like Nicole Harkin.

Nicole first appeared on my radar shortly after I started at Reach last fall. She’d just finished teaching a number of teens about podcasting during our Summer Leadership Academy. Then, at my first major event – the 2019 Book Release Party – Nicole, a professional portrait photographer, stepped in to capture the event after our hired photographer fell ill.


Her support didn’t stop there. When Nicole learned that The Reach Fellowship encourages teens to secure a professional headshot, Nicole offered to help (pictured). When Nicole heard Reach was selected as the beneficiary of the Federal Communications Bar Association’s annual charity auction, she donated two family portrait sessions. And, this summer, Nicole taught photography to teens during our virtual Summer Leadership Academy. She helped our teens capture beautiful images of the world around them, without ever meeting them in person. It was incredible.

To me, Nicole is the epitome of #AlwaysThere. Whenever we launch a Reach initiative or event, Nicole always finds a way to lend her support. Whenever we need help, Nicole is always among the first to offer it. But she’s #AlwaysThere in a more literal sense, too: you’ll see her photos in our teen-authored books, on our website, on the LinkedIn profiles our teens create, and throughout the blog posts in this campaign (like the beautiful photo of Diamond & AJ in the last post).

By being #AlwaysThere for us, Nicole has left her mark on Reach in many ways, and for many years to come. Thank you, Nicole.

During the month of December, we aim to raise $200,000 to support our ongoing programming. While this year is different, we remain committed to providing comprehensive support to hundreds of students this year. We can’t do this without your support. Please consider making a gift here. So far, we've raised $6,107.99.

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We recruit, train, and hire teens experiencing social and academic challenges to serve as tutors for elementary school students facing challenges of their own.

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