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  • Writer's pictureMark

#AlwaysThere: The Boss

Lanae J. Holmes, Reach Incorporated Board Member ($9,000 Raised on $200,000 Goal as of 11/28/2019)

Lanae (right) with Andrea Frederick of AKQA. Lanae helped Reach secure a recent website redesign, for free, through AKQA.

Some of us are lucky enough to have that one boss. The one who is talented and supportive. The one who gets you. The one who knows when to step in to help or when to step back and tell you to figure it out. I was lucky enough to meet mine 13 years ago. Her name: Lanae Holmes.

I was a brand new social worker, working with teens in the child welfare system. I wanted to change the world. And, importantly, my boss didn’t tell me it was impossible. You see, Lanae Holmes is just not a “that’s just the way it is” type. When I wanted to change the system, or break the system, or burn it all down, she would ask simple questions:

Is this the most helpful thing you can do for the kid you’re trying to serve?

Are you right, or are you angry?

Will this get you fired?

But then, no matter how crazy the idea, if I answered her questions, I had her support. She helped me to understand it’s not the degree of the anger but the quality of the response that makes changes for kids. She likely doesn’t know this, but she allowed me to begin thinking that new ways of doing things, new programs, or even new organizations, were possible.

So, when I spent a year trying to get someone to hire me to launch a program based on what is now the Reach model, she was one of the few people that knew what I was doing. And, when I decided Reach needed to exist, I called Lanae.

You see, when you incorporate a nonprofit, you need at least three founding board members. When I realized I needed to select three people that would immediately become my bosses, I had no doubt who I would call first.

Since 2009, Lanae is literally the only other person that has been #AlwaysThere. She has been part of this organization for every day of its existence, and she remains on the board today. I couldn’t have done it – I wouldn’t have even thought it possible – without her. Thank you, Lanae.

Because Lanae was #AlwaysThere for me. I can work to ensure that Reach is #AlwaysThere for the young people we serve. Please consider giving today in honor of Lanae and all she’s made possible.

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