I’m Theodora, or as most people call me, Teddy! I’ve moved around a lot but I’m from Alaska. I grew up in a different home than most girls my age. I grew up in a home where I had to go outside in below-zero weather for 5 to 6 hours cutting huge pounds of wood to keep my home from freezing with nothing but cheap shoes lined with plastic bags to keep me from getting frostbite. I grew up in a home where if you smiled for any reason you’d get called terrible things that no mother should ever call her own daughter, and be smacked in the face and thrown on the floor. I grew up in a home where I couldn’t go to school because my mother [who was later diagnosed with mental illness] wouldn’t let me, and that’s why I work hard and am grateful for school. That’s why I’m where I am today. But it wasn’t easy—for a long time, I felt lost. This is why the REACH program matters to me. Every day, everywhere someone is lost just waiting to be found.
The REACH Program is a model for academic intervention that provides students with social and emotional support to overcome personal obstacles. With an emphasis on accountability and hard work, REACH believes it is through this process of building relationships that students will be better able to achieve academically.