Give Reagan a Safe Place to Learn
Organized by: Haley Hakimian
I am writing in regards to a young woman who has grown near to my heart over the past months, not due to any other reason than the undeniable recognition of this child's dyer circumstances and lack of option, yet her incessant determination to excel. Her single mother, T-boned in a severe car accident struggles to support herself and her two children on disability allowance. She strives daily to give her children the opportunity she, herself, was never allotted.
I have shared each Wednesday this summer teaching leadership and empowering young women, like Reagan, through a summer seminar series founded by my family. Additionally, I have been tutoring Reagan in preparation for her entrance exams and throughout the application process. Please allow me to further portray the explicitly vivid picture of the obstacles this child faces daily.
Meet Reagan: Age 15. Talented athlete, dedicated student, caring daughter to her single mom, a young woman wise beyond her years, and a new friend of mine. These words do not even begin to touch on the remarkable attributes Reagan possesses. In watching her basketball games over the last months, and sharing each Wednesday afternoon this summer, I’ve learned to understand the extent of drive in this aspiring leader.
She exudes confidence, quietly. Carefully choosing her words and speaking only when necessary. I will tell you she is an unbelievable basketball player, because in her humility, she will not. Her point and message are made unmistakably clear in her deliberate actions. She’s highly observant and she works, hard. “No” is not a word in her vocabulary. She neither says it, nor accepts it from others. “No” registers simply as a challenge to overcome, as it has often surfaced in so many forms throughout her young life.
She delivers every time. If you want to score, get the ball to Reagan. If you want to win, make sure Reagan is on your team. Any team, on the court or off.
Education is a gift I was given undeservingly. I neither worked for it financially, nor made any decisions regarding it as a child. Reagan is fighting for it. An environment that encourages learning and develops the different talents of each individual child. A safe place, free from the vulgarity and destructive behavior from some of the darker corners of this world. A school that will allow Reagan an opportunity to succeed in life.
Education is not fleeting. It’s an investment with a guaranteed ROI, a value, that once earned, cannot be deprived or retracted. It is the greatest gift you can bestow on another person. Reagan is going to accomplish amazing achievements in her life, a Division 1 basketball position for one, but Reagan is far more than just a basketball player. She has come too far and put in too many hours to accept anything less.
There are so many gifts and opportunities that have been provided for us, you and I, throughout our lives. Doors opened by connections through our parents or the educational environments conducive for superior networking. Reagan has been handed nothing, ever. Please consider giving her this one gift: the opportunity to learn in a safe place. Consider the opportunities you have been offered, based on your strong foundation of learning and education combined with hard work and a drive to succeed. I am asking you to please give that opportunity to Reagan, help build her foundation, for she has the drive. You have the power to change a child’s life, and the life of coming generations.
If you follow my Twitter, you will learn we recently hosted a panel of exceptionally successful women, including three time Olympic Gold Medalist and Advocate for Title IX, Nancy Hogshead-Makar, Assistant State’s Attorney London Kite, Action News Anchor Paige Kelton, Professional Make-up Artist Kimtasha Armstrong, and Serial Entrepreneur Khesahn Barker. Phoning in was also Dr. Valerie Bartol, a revered psychologist focusing primarily in adolescence and post traumatic stress disorder. These amazing women have joined in guiding our young women, providing insight, and sharing knowledge of the paths to their individual accomplished fields. Here is your chance to join us.
Although Reagan qualifies for 100% financial aid, she lacks all items necessary for school: computer, Internet access, supplies, shoes, clothes, etc. She earned a spot through her academics and outstanding character, but is in dire need of support outside of tuition covered by need based financial aid.