In October, StreetSquash participants and staff got together in recognition of REACH Week. Curious what REACH Week is? We’ve got the breakdown.
What is REACH?
At StreetSquash, we hope our participants will grow into Resilient, Engaged, Accountable, Connected, and Healthy adults. We believe these five characteristics ensure our participants are capable of choosing their own paths in life and developing their own ideas for the future.
Here’s a closer look at what each REACH value means to us:
A RESILIENT StreetSquasher makes progress by learning from setbacks.
An ENGAGED StreetSquasher exhibits eagerness and enthusiasm at StreetSquash while actively pursuing individual growth.
An ACCOUNTABLE StreetSquasher takes responsibility for their actions and decisions.
A CONNECTED StreetSquasher recognizes and respects the significance of their role in each of their larger communities.
A HEALTHY StreetSquasher engages in positive actions that are well-balanced and beneficial to their physical, mental, and emotional self.
The idea of REACH first came about in 2017, with an official rollout of the values happening in 2018. StreetSquash participants and staff collaborated on which values to include in the acronym, with heavy input coming from our Student Leadership Committee – a group of elected student representatives for the program.
Every staff interaction with participants reflects these collective REACH values. We maintain high expectations for all participants, and the standards we set for them reflect our belief that they can REACH higher.
What is REACH Week?
REACH Week is an opportunity for our participants and staff to refocus on REACH values. The event happens three times annually and features team building activities, team meetings, goal setting, workshops, and more.
Throughout REACH Week, our goal is to more directly live out different REACH values. This month, participants practiced being Engaged and Connected via special community service events. Some participants cleaned up local parks, while others wrote letters to government representatives about climate change. Academic programming also included education around the global student climate strikes.
What do our participants think about REACH Week, and what are their favorite values?
Promise, Class of 2021
“REACH Week is a very good opportunity for the kids and staff to get together and really acknowledge what StreetSquash is all about. This week we can really uplift everyone’s spirit, encourage everyone to do better things, and make StreetSquash a better place for everyone.
My favorite REACH value is Accountability. As young adults we might not always want to take responsibility for our actions, but now that we’re getting older we have to learn how to do that. REACH teaches me it’s okay to make mistakes. That’s a part of growing up and life. You have to accept your mistakes, learn from them, and move on.”
Raya, Class of 2021
“REACH Week has made a positive impact at StreetSquash. Connected is my favorite REACH value. My team, Grade 11, we’re like a family. We have a crazy bond. We joke a lot, but we’re still connected. If you have a problem, someone from the team knows you have a problem. If you had a bad day, they’ll see it and ask if you’re okay or want to talk or text later. Connecting with my team is a big reason why I love StreetSquash.”
Where can I learn more about REACH?
Starting this month, our staff will be selecting two Students of the Month based on a rotating list of REACH values – one participant from our Harlem site, and one participant from our Newark site.
This new initiative will serve as a reminder of our REACH values in between REACH Weeks and help celebrate participants who have truly embraced these characteristics.