We are incredibly humbled and grateful to receive a $1,000
donation in appreciation of our work with young people at the
9th Annual Teacher's Appreciation Foundation (TAF) Awards.
Our sincere thanks to TAF Co-Founders Karim and Miniimah
Muhammad for this generous show of support.
This donation will go a long way in helping us continue our
mission of providing youth mentorship and guidance to young people
in our community. We believe in the power of mentorship and the
positive impact it can have on the lives of those we serve.
We are thankful for the generous support of Karim and
Miniimah Muhammad and the Teacher's Appreciation
Foundation. This donation will help us continue to provide
meaningful mentorship opportunities for young people. Thank you
We are deeply grateful to Urban Awareness USA for their generous support in the form of an unrestricted mini grant. This grant will help us further our mission of providing youth mentorship opportunities to underserved communities. With the support of Urban Awareness USA, we will be able to expand our reach and ensure that more young people have access to this invaluable resource. We are thankful for their commitment to our cause and their trust in us to use the funds wisely. With their help, we are confident that we will continue to make an impact in our community.
To prepare girls and boys for adult life by providing fun and educational activities that teach life and social skills, good decision-making and otherwise broaden their horizons to empower them to be thoughtful and productive youth citizens.
to the REACH FORWARD FOUNDATION
Empowering young minds to reach their fullest potential - that's what Reach Forward Foundation is all about! We focus on providing career and educational exposure activities, life skills, and of course, some fun along the way. Join us today and see how far you can go!
Note: We are a 501(c)3 organization.
November Hangout: HBCU College Expo in Dallas, TX
December Hangout: Holiday Party
January: Annual OKC Dr. MLK, Jr Holiday Parade
NEW MEMBERS ALWAYS WELCOME
Open to Girls and Boys
Must be in grades 6-12
Can live anywhere in the Metro OKC area
Open to Group Mentoring - We are not a 1:1 Big Brothers/Big Sisters-type program
NO MEMBERSHIP FEE
For more info
Nov 11, 2023---
Oct 13, 2023---We switched it up a bit this month, meeting up on a Friday instead of Saturday. Our crew wanted a cooking lesson, so that's exactly what they got thanks to the GBNOMO Cooking Class hosted at the Willa D. Johnson Rec Center. 16 of our mentees showed up to learn kitchen etiquette and make Walking Tacos. This youth-friendly meal consists of Doritos topped with ground beef, cheese, tomatoes, sour cream, salsa, lettuce and any other taco toppings you desire all in the Doritos bag which is cut open to serve as a bowl - Thus a Walking Taco because you can walk while you eat it. See cooking class pics in the gallery.
Sept 9, 2023---Skating & Social Skills...need I say more. We enjoyed nearly 2 hours of skating (slipping and falling too) at the Sky Rink @ Scissortail Park in beautiful downtown OKC followed by a discussion about social etiquette and communication using skating as a metaphor. Check out some fun pics in the gallery and below!
August 12, 2023---We kicked off a brand-new program year with 16 mentees in attendance, including two brand-new mentees. Our mentees were able to practice such executive function skills as decision-making, critical thinking and prioritization as we divided them into table groups and had them create collaborative lists of the following to inform this year's programming: 4 desired skills, 4 places to go, 4 careers of interest, 4 discussion topics. Areas getting the most votes from our group included a service project for the homeless, visiting kids at Ronald McDonald House, Cooking Classes, Money Management, Social/Communication Skills and more!
July 2023---Thanks to our continued partnership with YFC, Reach Forward youth enjoyed bonus Hangouts each Thursday in July complete with lunch each time. They activities included Eastside Pizza, Main Event, a Metro Tech Tour, Riversport and wrapped up with a tour of Notis Studio, the first black-owned film studio in the Oklahoma City area. See photos in the gallery above.
June 30 2023---The 6th Annual Ties to the Future Event had a new twist this year! It became the Ties to the Future & Circle of Success Event because it is now open to our local young men and young ladies. Boys continue to receive brand-new ties and wisdom from a host of businessmen, doctors, lawyers, elected officials and others in the community while girls were invited for the first time and received bracelets (a reminder of their "circle of success") from a host of influential women in the community - doctors, nurses, graphic designers, fashion designers, teachers, realtors, nonprofit leaders, etc. We had the largest turnout yet and look forward to inviting young men and young ladies and mentors from all across the OKC metro area again next year. See photos in the gallery above and a few sprinkled across the page.
June 11 2023---Sometimes we just want to have fun. We had a fun, splash-filled day at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in OKC to reward our most dedicated Reach Forward mentees. Thank you to Board Member and Parent Kendra W. and parents Elroy J. and Shirley G.W. for your support all year long and for helping chaperone the 22 mentees for the day. Check out some fun photos in the gallery above.
May 20 2023---We hosted a Teen Financial Literacy Workshop because we are dedicated to helping our youth thrive as adults. Therefore we brought in Jessi Mack, from Midfirst Bank's Community Outreach program. 17 of our youth, alongside parents in attendance, learned how to plan for their expenses and savings, and how to make good choices when it comes to their money. We believe healthy money habits are key to ending poverty in families and communities and building generational wealth. This was a small step to do so. Check out the highlights in the photo gallery.
April 24 2023---The week for Team TakeOver got better and better as former OKC Thunder Player and current OKC Thunder Assistant Coach Mike Wilks visited practice to share his story and offer words of wisdom and encouragement. Visit the Boys Basketball page to watch an excerpt of Coach Wilks' talk and check out pics in the Photo Gallery.
April 20 2023---Team TakeOver, our AAU boys basketball program had Media Day 2023 in the PC West HS gym. Program Administrator and Reach Forward Co-Founder Fredrick Montgomery came up with this creative idea to help these young men practice in case they make it to the college and/or NBA level where Media and Draft Days are a really big deal. In these situations, young players are thrust into the limelight often with little or no preparation. Therefore Team TakeOver's Media Day included ample opportunity to practice their communication skills through mock press and pre- and post-game style interviews, a photo station, 360 photo station to simulate the creation of jumbotron player animations and a pep talk from OK County's first African-American Sheriff, Tommie Johnson III. Team TakeOver is much more than basketball so we always strive to provide opportunities to shape their character as well. Visit the Photo Gallery on the Boys Basketball page for some action shots.
Apr 15 2023---Mentees enjoyed exploring the "Art in Bloom," "Freedom Fighter," and other exhibits at the OKC Museum of Art. It's important to be exposed to a broad range of things in life. Check out the photos in the gallery above.
Mar 14 2023---Career Exposure Event - OU Child Study Center Tour: It may be Spring Break, but we took time to educate our mentees on mental health career options, with a focus on the importance of trauma-informed work with children at the OU Child Study Center. A huge thanks goes out to La'Chanda K. Stephens-Totimeh, Ashley, Amanda, Hanna, Steven and the rest of the team for giving us such a rich experience with a tour, presentation, hands-on demo...and feeding us pizza.
Feb 18 2023---Black History Month is always one of my favorite Hangouts! This year we did something different and went to a Colorized Photo Exhibit of Life in Boley, OK in the 1920s and 1930s. This exhibit is significant because Boley is one of the original Historic All-Black Towns in OK. The exhibit space was also very significant because it is the home of Dr. William Slaughter (now a national historic landmark), the first African-American doctor in Oklahoma City. He moved to OKC in 1903 and built the home we visited in 1937 because he was not only a doctor, but an architect who built 90% of the building that used to be in the Deep Deuce district of OKC. If Dr. Slaughter could be a successful doctor, architect and businessman before OK was even a state and in the midst of all the racism black people were facing, we want our mentees to know they can accomplish anything. CHECK OUT HIGHLIGHT PICS IN THE PHOTO GALLERY ABOVE.
Jan 16 2023---Our first and a very important Hangout each year! Part of being a productive youth citizen means you understand the struggles and sacrifices that others made before you to help provide the life, liberty and happiness you have today. Thus we marched in the OKC MLK Parade to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We have taken pride in doing this every year since Reach Forward started - OKC Mayor David Holt even joined us for a group photo before the parade began. See the pics in the photo gallery above.
Dec 10 2022---Nothing says Holiday Fun like the annual Reach Forward Foundation Holiday Fun & Dirty Santa Gift Exchange! Our holiday party is for the whole family and we play games, serve a hot holiday meal and of course do the $5 Dirty Santa gift exchange. This year, we were even treated to the sights & sounds of a local show choir made of PC West HS students.
Nov 21 2022---Somebody say THUNDER UP! WE THANK THE OKC THUNDER FOR PROVIDING 40 COMMUNITY TICKETS TO ATTEND LAST NIGHT'S THUNDER VS NY KNICKS GAME. For many of our mentees, this was their first Thunder Game ever and we had tons of fun cheering and dancing from Loud City! See pics in the photo gallery above.
Nov 19 2022--- Here at Reach Forward, we are thankful for food to eat daily which is why we found it important to help Oklahoma's food insecure children today by packing individual 3 oz bags of Cinnamon Toast Crunch today for placement in Food for Kids Backpacks! 19 members of our Reach Forward Family put in 2-1/2 hours of work today helping to package 1000+ individual servings of cereal for the Backpack for Kids program. We will definitely do this again with our entire crew! SEE THE VIDEO ABOVE.
Nov 12 2022---Wakanda Forever! We were all screaming this as we ended of our Reach Forward Foundation Takeover of 2 Theatres for a Private Screening of Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever. Thanks to the generosity of the following sponsors, we were able to secure tickets for 200+ young people and their parents to attend the movie on Opening Weekend AND provide FREE POPCORN!:
1) Estell Laster-American Concrete & Asphalt
2) Curtis Midkiff (SMOGO Media)
3) Elijah Mohammad and Family
4) The Juan Moore Agency
5) Trinity Tre
6) Donna Goode
7) Yolo 360 Visuals
8) Rachel Y Johnston (Covenant Eagle Enterprises, LLC)
Oct 17 2022---The Dallas Black College Expo was a huge success! Mentees Nikhir (Sr) and Tavia (Jr) earned $1000 and $500 scholarships respectively for their winning "What does going to college mean to me" essays. All of our Seniors were accepted to at least one college in attendance with one, Alisha, earning acceptances to 6 colleges with partial scholarship offers as well. This was a great educational and fun experience for mentees and parents to engage in college planning. Check out sights & sounds from the event here.
Sept 17 2022---We hosted a Post High School Planning session for our parents. It is very important that we expose our young people to a variety of educational opportunities based on their skills, interests and potential career fields early and often. Plus we as parents need to expand our definition of higher education to include, vocational training, community college, and four-year institutions. For those who couldn't attend, there was a Zoom session later. Do you need help planning for your high schooler? Contact me at email@example.com.
Aug 27 2022--- We kicked off our 2022-2023 program year with our traditional Family Fun Hangout! We returned to Jones for a good, old-fashioned cookout and games. We were able to welcome new members and share our program vision and goals for the year with parents and mentees in attendance! There were 3 brand-new mentees in attendance...yea!
June 11 2022--- We capped off our mentorship year with 4 hours of adventure at OKC Riversport. Most of our mentees, as well as myself, had never participated in water sports, beyond swimming. Therefore white water rafting, water tubing and the surfing simulation gave us all great exposure to new activities beyond our comfort zone which is a great life lesson. See pics in the Photo Gallery.
May 21 2022---Our "Let Me See You Work" Hangout was a success! Thank you you to Melrose Community Center for hosting us for our Interview & Job Skills-focused Hangout. Mentees who are currently employed shared their interview and work experiences with the group. We had 2 special guests, Target's Regional Vice President of Human Resources Jessica Thompson spoke to our mentees about interviewing for entry-level jobs and how to meet or exceed expectations to keep your first job. One of our 17 year old mentees was moved to apply for a job at Target the same day. We also heard from Langston University Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Ruth Jackson on how higher education prepares you for the workforce. Reach Forward Director shared her experience with video interviews and as a remote employee, provided examples of professional vs. unprofessional dress and had the mentees journal about their own personality traits, strengths, their desired work environment and careers of interest. See pics in the Photo Gallery.
April 16 2022---We were rained out, but had a little time to provide Mental Health tips.
March 2022---SPRING BREAK-No Hangout
Feb 12 2022---The Oklahoma History Center is a beautiful building standing right across from the Governor's Mansion, full of rich Oklahoma History, including the stories of prominent African-Americans and the mark they have left on the state, the often untold stories of the legacy of Native Americans who once claimed all of Oklahoma and more. Yet many young people (and their parents) live here their entire lives and never visit the history center. For this reason, it is an annual tradition to visit the OK History Center during Black History Month each year and have our mentees team up to execute a scavenger hung through the Kerr-McGee Gallery, home of the Black History Exhibits, to learn important local history and to encourage a bit of friendly competition. Today did not disappoint with another victory for our top "History Detectives." Stay tuned for photos.
Jan 17 2022---Today we celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr by participating in the 41st Annual OKC Martin Luther King Coalition Holiday Parade. This is an honored tradition for us to march in the parade each yea. Even before Reach Forward Foundation existed in an official capacity, we marched in the parade with our boys group, All Brothers Allowed. Today we proudly showed up once again donning new Reach Forward logo'd hoodies and behind our official Reach Forward Foundation, Sisters With Purpose and All Brothers Allowed Banner. Stay tuned for photos.
We are gaining wisdom from incredible women in our community at the Ties to the Future & Circle of Success event!
I earned my first college scholarship @ the HBCU College Expo in Dallas during my Jr Year - $500 for writing an essay! I'm now a Senior and I want to teach Pre-K...so I'm already concurrently enrolled at Francis Tuttle.
Exposure to new things: A day at Riversport! We had an amazing first visit.