Bright Spots: Reach Group an Essential Part of Rise Center

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If you’re familiar with the Rise Center on the Unviersity of Alabama campus, you know that place is a bright spot in itself.

We didn’t have to “reach” far for this one. This week’s Bright Spot highlights a group of guys and gals over at the Rise Center who really do make this world a brighter place.

“The Reach group is made up of nine individuals. Most of them are graduates of the Rise Center. They range from age 20-59 years old and have various disabilities,” said Rise Family Service Coordinator Joylynn Boggs.

Rise Reach employees are essential to the day to day functions at the Rise Center.

“We depend on them largely for our daily living skills,” Boggs said. “Mopping, sweeping, keeping those germs away, wiping down the toys, helping with snacks. Obviously, if they want that interaction with our little ones in the classroom, we leave that up to them.”

This group does so much more than what is seen within the school.

“The Reach group is an acronym that stands for recreation, education, activity, community service, and health,” Boggs told WVUA 23.

WVUA 23’s Chelsea Barton personally got to see the C in “Reach” first hand!

“The C in reach is for community service,” Boggs said. “When trying to think outside the box and think of ways that they could work from home during this time. we have tried to focus on community service and let them kind of talk about what is important to them, their love for Tuscaloosa, and Tuscaloosa’s love for them. We developed these little place cards and put some candies in them. We let them kind of decide who they wanted to say thank you to. It could be anyone; any merchant, any front line worker, any personal friend, just to say thank you for keeping Tuscaloosa going.”

Rise Reach member Ian Terry stopped at WVUA 23 to give Chelsea one of his essential worker goodie bags.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Reach group has not been able to come back together at Rise, but that is about to change.

“They are pumped,” Boggs said. “So, it is going to be exciting to see them and for us all to be together. They are a tight group. We do a lot of extra activities inside of Rise. They are kind of local celebrities, so when they come back next week, a big presence will be back in the building.”

If you have a Bright Spot you’d like to share, we want to hear about it! WVUA 23 is looking for uplifting and inspiring stories to share. You can submit them right here.

Categories: Bright Spots, Community