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  • Writer's pictureMark

#AlwaysThere: Niki & Liz

$15,482 of $200,000 raised.

As told by Rico, a Reach alum who graduated from Eastern in 2016.

Liz has a lot of energy. And Niki, she’s certainly not calmer. So, as a 9th grader, I was a little intimidated when they started following me with a camera. But, I just told the truth and – like they told me to – just acted like myself. And, the film looked good.

During the rest of high school, I grew a lot. I’m not trying to be cocky. I’m just proud. I stayed in Reach for three more years. And, Mr. Mark would occasionally tell me that he had talked to Ms. Niki. She was always looking for ways to tell Reach’s story.

Seven years later, she was recording me again. This time, it was in my classroom. Through the Literacy Lab, I work in an early ed classroom at Amidon-Bowen Elementary School. I teach kids to read full time, and I’m working toward my associate’s degree at Montgomery College. One day soon, I hope to transfer to the University of Maryland.

And, recently, Mr. Mark told me that Liz introduced him to a woman named Kelly who wants to help Reach kids, too. Adulthood isn't always easy, so I’m so thankful that people are stepping up to give back those of us who spent our high school days giving back.

I’ve been part of the Reach community for eight years. And, that’s how long I’ve known Niki and Liz. We’ve all been #AlwaysThere for Reach – I mean, I helped build it. But, like mine, Reach’s story isn’t over. That’s why I’m glad Liz and Niki will continue to be #AlwaysThere for Reach.

All this month, we will be sharing stories about members of the Reach community that are #AlwaysThere for the organization and our program participants. Liz Norton and Niki Mock worked together at Stone Soup Films. Though the organization is on hiatus, their work and impact continues. Rico is now a Reach-hoodie-wearing graduate of Eastern High School. He is currently a Literacy Aide, through the Literacy Lab, at Amidon-Bowen Elementary School.

If inspired, make a gift here to support our 2020 #AlwaysThere campaign.

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