TNS Executive Client Spotlight: Chief Executive Officer Gina Lucas
REACH Prep provides access to transformative educational experiences that empower underserved, high-achieving students to graduate from top colleges and emerge as the next generation of leaders.
On April 29, 2019, REACH Prep hosted their Annual Benefit Luncheon celebrating 25 years of serving students and their families in Fairfield County, Westchester County and the Bronx. The event honored their 25th Cohort of REACH Prep Scholars, their accomplished REACH Prep Alumni, and their visionary Founders.
All proceeds raised through this event directly support their 12-year program that helps underserved, high-achieving black and Latino students prepare for success in, and graduation from, top-tier colleges and universities.
Their program includes a 15-month academic enrichment program, individualized support for middle school and high school students, guidance throughout the college application process, and ongoing support through the college years.
Q. What is your favorite part about your job and why?
My favorite part is when I can speak with our students and get an update on how they are doing. I love hearing what activities students are pursuing, what issues they care about, and what their hopes are. It connects me right back to why our work is so critical. REACH Prep works with students from the end of fourth grade through college graduation.
From our youngest students to those graduating from college, they continue to inspire me as the next generation of leaders. I am impressed by their determination and commitment to working hard, giving back to their communities and to being challenged academically. Working with children and young people is a privilege, and it is fun and rewarding.
Q. What are your biggest challenges and why?
One of our biggest challenges is finding new ways to reach out to underserved communities and prospective families to let them know about REACH Prep and our admissions process. We serve bright and motivated students who live in Fairfield and Westchester Counties and the Bronx, and we want to make sure that families with fourth grade children or younger know that REACH Prep exists and offers 12 years of free comprehensive programming, support, guidanceand opportunities that lead to college success.
We continue to focus on how we can share our mission more broadly with those who could benefit from our unique educational access model. Another challenge is ensuring that we secure the resources we need to provide the highest quality programming and support to the 250 students we serve annually.
As a non-profit organization and a free program for families, we rely solely on the generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations to fund our organization.
Q. What sets REACH Prep apart from other educational programs?
REACH Prep is the only educational access and college success organization of its kind in this area that serves students across 3 counties and 2 states with the goal of college completion for historically underrepresented populations.
Our college graduation rate is 90%. We are different in that we are committed to working with students from 4th grade all the way through college graduation which is a 12-year commitment we make to every student and family
Q. What is your most memorable moment as the Chief Executive Officer of REACH Prep?
It actually happened three days ago! We were celebrating 25 years of REACH Prep at our major benefit luncheon, and before the event officially started, we arranged a special meeting for our youngest students to meet with Alumni who had come back for the event.
Hearing their earnest exchange of ideas, questions, reflections and experiences along with seeing them realize and express their shared bond and pride about being in REACH Prep was a moment I will never forget.
Please visit www.reachprep.org to learn more about their programs and success stories. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the REACH Prep staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203.487.0750.