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#AlwaysThere: Reach's Program Instructors

By Jasmine Jones, Reach Program Manager

Meet Anyssa, Attalah, Danielle, Dorothy, Eddie, India, Kamryn, Kevohn, Maishia, Oyinda, Quanis, Simonica, Sarah, and Victoria.

They’re our Program Instructors (PIs), the driving force behind our After School Tutoring Program. They’re the ones leading our virtual program every day, building strong relationships with our teens, and keeping our participants engaged despite technical hiccups and Zoom fatigue.

When COVID-19 struck and we cancelled Reach’s in-person programs in March, we knew we had to quickly pivot. But in those first few weeks, we didn’t have a lot figured out. There was a lot of trial and error as we tested out virtual sessions. But, faced with this uncertainty, our PIs just rolled with the punches. They adapted quickly to the virtual space. And they helped us adapt, too. They were not afraid to give us constructive feedback and try out new techniques, all while finding creative ways to stay connected to our teens.

Our PIs are a unique group of people, each with his or her own distinctive personality. And yet, each PI somehow perfectly suits the cohort they work with, adding special flare to their interactions with their teens.

· At HD Woodson, Victoria and Danielle make sure their teens always have a say in the decision-making process.

· Simonica and Oyinka have built strong, personalized connections with each of the tutors at Coolidge, our largest cohort.

· Anyssa and Eddie push the teens in the Ballou-Simon cohort to focus on their holistic growth and development.

· Under India and Dorothy’s guidance, the teens in the Eastern cohort always make sure they’re having fun as they learn.

· Because Quanis leads an all-female cohort at Dunbar, her teens often discuss books and issues through a distinctively female lens.

· With Sarah and Maishia’s encouragement, the teens in the Ballou-King cohort step up and lead sessions every Monday.

· Attalah is new at Beacon House this year, but her outgoing personality keeps the teens in her cohort committed to their work.

· Kevohn and Kamryn treat the teens in the Anacostia cohorts as young adults, holding them to high standards while trusting their judgment.

These folks are the unsung heroes of Reach.They’ve been #AlwaysThere for our teens through a turbulent, challenging year, and we appreciate them so much.

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