Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Prince George's County's Finest - Excellence Always!

 L-R, Mr. Cliff Barnes, Hon. Ingrid Turner, NHC President Tomeka Bumbry, Program Chair, Crystal Christmas-Watson,
In Reach's Executive Director, Toni Smith, and Mr. Ronnie Gathers

Prince George's County's Finest - Founder and Executive Director Toni A. Smith Receives Award of Excellence in Education

Prince George’s County, Maryland – On Sunday, April 10, 2016, In Reach’s Founder and Executive Director, Ms. Toni A. Smith, received an Award of Excellence in Education from the National Harbor Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., during its Fifth Anniversary Celebration. “How appropriate,” she said “for me to receive my first Award of Excellence from an organization that values family, education and service. It does not get much better than this.” 

Since its inception in December 1999, Ms. Smith has worked tirelessly to build In Reach into a full-fledged community-focused education organization with the primary goal of bringing opportunity in reach to more students in their communities. Starting with forty students attending two partner schools, an elementary afterschool program and an in-school high school program, both programs focused on preparing students for college, work and life. Today, In Reach provides afterschool programs to nearly two hundred students attending Title I schools through its K-8 College and Career Ready 21st Century Community Learning Center and Youth Ambassadors College Access High School Program. 

Having worked in a variety of local and national youth advocacy nonprofit environments, Ms. Smith has over twenty-five years of experience in nonprofit service, management and leadership. She has a long-standing commitment to children's issues and an intimate understanding of the wide array of social justice issues faced by children, youth and families. Professionally, she has found her greatest joy through In Reach where she is able to bring her whole self to improving the lives of children and youth, empowering women and girls to reach their full potential, and promoting the vital work of the nonprofit sector. 

Ms. Smith was delighted to share the spotlight with three other amazing recipients: the Honorable Ingrid M. Turner, Esq., for Civic Excellence; Mr. Ronnie Gathers, director of Parks and Recreation in Prince George’s County, MD for Recreational Excellence; and Mr. Cliff Barnes, member Epstein Becker & Green in the Health Care and Life Sciences Practice for Excellence in Health. However, the true star of the evening was Mr. Brandon C. Welcome, the National Harbor Chapter’s first Scholarship Awardee and student in the Academy of Health Sciences at Prince George’s Community College, graduating this year with a 4.25 GPA and a plan to attend Morehouse College in the fall to major in Political Science.

In Reach, Inc., is a tax exempt 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization designed to prepare students for college, work and life. Founded in 1999, In Reach envisions healthy, productive and prepared young adults in every family. To learn more about In Reach, visit In Reach is currently celebrating its sixteenth year, #TheBIGSixteen.