Leaders are not just born; they are raised. Since 2001, REAP has offered students multifaceted programming designed to raise the next generation of resilient leaders who are empowered to achieve their dreams. Recently, the company has invested and focused more on school communities with significant numbers of families in challenging economic circumstances and non-English speaking families. Children in such communities and social groups have faced the most challenges in both their academic journeys and personal lives. REAP puts great emphasis on leadership, student voice, conflict resolution, and entrepreneurship, and because of it, the organization deserves recognition.
REAP is best known for its Solution Program, a 10-month leadership curriculum open to students from all walks of life. The program is dedicated to enriching the lives of every student, regardless of their backgrounds and cultures, aiming to provide them with a series of interactive leadership modules focused on civics, education, health, business, and entrepreneurship. Furthermore, the program focuses on specialized and applied learning approaches centered around equipping students with better writing, speaking, reading, and inquiry skills.
Students who have undergone the Solutions Program learn and demonstrate school and community leadership skills. It is also proven that they develop and strengthen academic skills needed to ace their academics, improve college readiness, and prepare them for future careers. In addition, the Solution Program is known for bolstering positive behavior, improving relational communication and problem-solving skills, and empowering students with negotiation and teamwork skills. They also learn the value of serving their community while simultaneously engaging in meaningful conversations to truly know how they can help them through collaboration.
Besides the Solutions Program, REAP is also recognized for its Young Entrepreneurs Program (YEP), which creates opportunities for students to fully reach their potential in terms of innovation and developing ways to create their own wealth. By nurturing them to be critical and independent, REAP is raising a new wave of self-sufficient individuals who will undoubtedly impact society’s future as positively and creatively as possible.
With programs mainly catering to students between grades six and 12, REAP plays an active role in honing baseline skills in business ventures, public speaking, and networking during some of the most crucial ages in their students’ lives. Its programs mold them to be impactful community members, meteors, and business-savvy individuals.
REAP also launched other meaningful programs such as Reflections, which includes Elevate, intervention supports for self-reflection; School Climate Surveys, assisting the analysis and development of fair positives in evaluating fair practices and developing the framework for appropriate student behavior; and Mindful Moments, helping students develop quick problem-solving skills.
“Reflections also engages students in Mindful Moments, an exercise that serves as an opportunity to work with students to promote quick problem solving skills and reinforce de-escalation techniques so students can approach issues more composed and open to resolution,” explained Mark Jackson from REAP.
Furthermore, the institution also has a leadership development program called “Renaissance,” specifically tailored to address the needs of young males of color. “Our vision is to affirm the positive identity and self-worth of young males of color of diverse backgrounds. 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,” said Jackson.
Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, when students were mostly confined at home, REAP managed to uphold its vision by transitioning its programs to the virtual setting. Although the transition has been challenging, REAP was able to deliver its programs through generous donations, which further expanded its reach to more students across the country.
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