Although most people have dreams and ambitions, not everyone has been given the opportunity to pursue those goals. After all, privilege continues to play a significant role in society, and children from poverty-stricken communities are highly disadvantaged compared to their wealthy peers. Refusing to accept this unpleasant reality, two remarkable individuals, Levell Thomas and Mark Jackson, built REAP Inc. to open more opportunities for the youth.
Two decades since it was founded in Oregon in 2001, the innovative venture was initially created to uplift resilient leaders empowered to achieve their dreams. At present, it is prioritizing school communities where numerous families are financially limited.
When asked what pushed them to pursue such noble advocacy, the founders insightfully said, “Children of these families face the most challenges in negotiating school and life.” Given this, the organization intends to disrupt the status quo and provide underprivileged youth with a solid chance to fulfill their goals and dreams.
At the center of its multifaceted and extensive modules is the REAP Solution program, a 10-month leadership curriculum available for students from all backgrounds and cultures. It gives participants a series of interactive leadership modules with various focuses like civics, education, health, business, and entrepreneurship. These programs serve as an excellent addition to a student’s portfolio as they provide specialized and applied learning approaches that translate to real-life experiences.
Aside from that, REAP Inc. also discusses other vital topics such as justice, equality, and diversity. It even has a groundbreaking course that affirms the positive identity and self-worth of young males of color from diverse backgrounds.
As the organization explained, “REAP accomplishes this by promoting positive images of males, developing their leadership potential, and fostering their innovative abilities. Our young men model leadership through peer mentoring, civic engagement, business innovation, and public speaking.”
Through the years, REAP Inc. has already made a difference in the lives of countless students and their families. But the journey was far from easy, and the organization was significantly affected when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. However, its generous benefactors have helped the enterprise stay afloat and thus, ensure that students realize their leadership potential.
According to the venture, “Transitioning REAP programs to a virtual setting has been costly, but 100% worth it for our students. Donations play an integral role in helping us to maintain, develop, and strengthen the quality of our online offerings.”
Because of this, REAP Inc. intends to widen its network and collaborate with more charitable groups and individuals who love to help well-deserving teens. On its end, the organization will continue to create world-class eLearning and after-school programs for its students.
The inspiring venture plans to scale its reach and branch out of Oregon into other states and districts in the coming years. By doing this, it hopes to give more young people the tools and resources they need to thrive and become productive citizens of society.
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