November 8, 2022
REACH Prep Fall Newsletter
In this Edition:
REACH Prep staff and Scholars have been busy over the Summer and Fall! Please enjoy this collection of highlights from each of our program areas as well as updates on the Board of Directors, Associate Board, our 2nd Annual Masquerade Benefit, and a Q&A with our new CEO!
in financial aid earned by REACH Prep Scholars entering college
REACH Prep Scholars and parents participated in 18 College Information Sessions
of REACH Prep Scholars are the first in their family to attend college in the USA
A Familiar Face Returns to Lead Prep Academy
David Menard, a REACH Prep alum from Cohort 7, returned to us this year to make a difference in the organization that changed the trajectory of his life over 20 years ago as our new Director of Prep Academy and Placement.

David began at REACH Prep in June, just in time to welcome Cohort 29. After a rigorous first summer at Prep Academy, David is currently working with our Scholars on their independent school applications, interview and test preparation and subsequent placement guidance. His passion and energy fill the halls of Greenwich Country Day School, and he serves as a wonderful model and inspiration to our Scholars demonstrating hard work, a positive attitude, and kindness.
Pictured above: David (top left) as a REACH Prep Scholar.

"My return to REACH Prep was a
long time coming! This organization has been such an agent of change in my and my entire family’s lives for the better. To have the opportunity to come back on the other side to support and guide our Scholars and their families is a great honor and privilege.

Additionally, having lived the life of a REACH Prep Scholar and knowing the road ahead from first hand experience, I can provide an authentic and unique perspective, including the ability to provide insight for the potential potholes and hurdles, as well as guidance on how to reap the most from this amazing opportunity."

David Menard
Director of Prep Academy & Placement
Alumni, Cohort 7
Middle School Mingle
In September, over 100 middle school REACH Prep Scholars and their parents joined us at Greenwich Country Day School for a 'Meet & Mingle' workshop. The two hour event provided an opportunity for students and families who attend the same independent schools to meet and connect during breakout sessions. Parents also received handouts highlighting essential information for navigating their specific independent school system, and Scholars participated in engaging activities to learn about their new schools and what their school offers. This was the first in-person workshop for these families since the pandemic, and it was a huge success!
Starting High School is Sweet!
While embarking on a new adventure can be exciting, students about to enter an unfamiliar school often feel uncertainty as well. For rising 9th grade Scholars, REACH Prep hosted a high school transition ice cream social over the summer to support & guide them during this transitional time. The workshop also featured two REACH Prep rising juniors who answered questions, and discussed truths and myths about high school. The 9th grade Scholars also participated in a gallery walk and contributed to posters around the room listing their feelings and biggest curiosities about starting high school.
College Information Sessions
Throughout the Fall, we were joined by 18 representatives from various colleges & universities who led learning sessions on the college experience. It was wonderful to have the schools listed above participate and present on a variety of subjects not specific to their own institutions, such as how to assess whether a college is the right fit, the Common App, college essays, virtual visits and demonstrating interest, and understanding Liberal Arts Colleges vs Universities.

Each workshop had in-person and virtual options so we could maximize our attendance and we are proud that over 100 Scholars and parents took advantage of these learning opportunities.
Learning Reaches Beyond the Classroom
Over the summer, our college Scholars expanded their horizons off campus.
Marleyna G. is a senior at NYU majoring in Global Liberal Studies with a concentration in Politics, Rights, and Development. This past summer, Marleyna traveled to the United Arab Emirates with NYU Dean's Circle. This honors society has a seminar that culminates in an academic travel experience in which students join together in an intensive exploration of the year's theme. We are excited for Marleyna to have these opportunities and proud of her inclusion in the NYU Dean's Circle!
Dhasiya A. spent this past summer in New Zealand participating in a 10-week internship program at the Hapai Te Hauora health clinic. Dhasiya focused on children's health and is confident that her work at the organization made impactful contributions to the indigenous Maori community. Dhasiya was also able to support the health clinic's efforts to create the first Maori-centric DNA database in New Zealand. She plans to use what she’s learned in her studies as a future physician. We are excited to follow Dhasiya's path to see the difference she make in her community and the world!
We are thrilled that our students participate in these meaningful learning experiences, and proud of the freshmen who just began their college journeys this fall. The high school class of 2022 matriculated to the following schools:
Cornell University (2), Fordham University, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Howard University (2), Lafayette College, Lehigh University, Pennsylvania State University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Trinity College, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, University of Rochester, and Wesleyan University.
Board of Directors Elects New Chair-
Lauren O'Shaughnessy
"Ever since being introduced to the REACH Prep mission through attending their Annual Luncheon, I have become more and more passionate about the work we do to change the trajectory of children’s lives. Meeting our 4th grade Scholars and learning about their passions and dreams, as well as hearing from our Alumni who are out in the world maximizing on opportunities they may not have otherwise had, brings such joy and meaning into my life. 
With exciting leadership changes, we are very well positioned to enter into a new era of serving our Scholars and community and I am honored to serve as Board Chair in order to sustain and help grow our program to new levels."

-Lauren O'Shaughnessy
Board of Directors, Chair
2022-2023 Board of Directors:

Lauren O’Shaughnessy, Chair
Neil A. Augustine, Vice-Chair
Stephen Toy, Treasurer
Judy Collins, Secretary

Lisa Argrette Ahmad
Sara Bartow
Alex Bettamio
Lauren Corrinet
Karen Doniger
Tracy Grossman
Barbara Harty
Nisha Hurst
John Kim
Heather Mosley
William S. Ogden
Jill Patricio
John Pike
Rodman Tilt III
Jeff Volling
Michael Wirtz, ex officio
REACH Prep's Inaugural Associate Board Launches!
In July of this year, we launched our inaugural Associate Board with a new mission statement and volunteer philosophy. The Associate Board enables a new generation of professionals and philanthropists to make an impact through meaningful volunteer opportunities, fundraising events, and unique program engagement, while acting as REACH Prep ambassadors in their communities. Led by Chair, Margo Cole, we have recruited 42 members who are passionate about REACH Prep, educational access, and utilizing their time, network, and skillset to make a difference.
We are excited and grateful to have this talented group of Associate Board members dedicate themselves to the REACH Prep mission. If interested in learning more about this group or getting involved, please contact: Jill Tucker at
Associate Board Members 2022-2023
Margo Cole, Chair

Jeff Aerni
Sarah Aerni
Emmy Bealle
Griffin Bealle
George Boudria
Kate Boudria
Clay Cole
Jackie Dimitri
Craig Dowd
Remy Dowd
Alex Ely
Asya Geller
George Geotes
Nicole Geotes
Carl Jean-Pierre
Alex Karnal
Cassie Karnal
Ali Kavulich
Steve Kavulich

Connor Malloy
Emily Malloy
Kevin O'Keeffe
Lizzie Parker
Ryan Parker
Isabel Phillips
Scott Phillips
Katie Poznyakov
Vlad Poznyakov
Daisy Sanders
Lauren Schweibold
Skyler Serenbetz
Margaret Stevens
Jessica Thomson
Christina Tilt
Lisa Volling
Brian Williams
Sydney Williams
Amanda Wilson
Sam Wilson
Q+A with Our New CEO: Dr. Candice Clawson
Candice joined REACH Prep as CEO in September, bringing with her a wealth of experience and an enthusiasm to make an impact on our mission. Throughout her entire career, Candice has dedicated herself to advocating for underrepresented student populations, in partnerships with independent schools and across school networks. Below you'll find candid answers from Candice to help you get to know our new CEO.
Q: What excites you most about being REACH Prep's new CEO?

A: All of the endless possibilities that exist! The organization has done a lot of things really well for the last 28 years and I am looking forward to building upon that. I’m excited to share what we do with a broader audience and build coalition not only across New York and Connecticut, but really the nation. Once our students leave independent school they are branching out globally and that presents endless possibilities for the organization. 

Q: What is one thing you are hoping to accomplish during your first year as CEO?

A: I hope to galvanize our Alumni community and tap into their experiences as we head toward our 30th year. They are the proof we are actualizing the mission of REACH Prep and I look forward to learning more about them, and collectively planning what programming and resources will provide the greatest impact.

Q: Do you have any secret talents?

A: My toddler thinks I am a magician because his loud toys miraculously disappear. Other than that, sadly no secret talents. 

Q: What might someone be surprised to know about you?

A: I played competitive flag football for about 5 years. My positions were defensive end and wide receiver. I was nominated twice in my league for defensive player of the year, and I won the team spirit award twice…so that should tell you how much energy I had out there!
Q: How do you spend your free time?

A: When I’m not working, I’m with my 4 year old son Charles, or with my friends trying a new restaurant. I’m also mildly obsessed with my Peloton and doing the runs and walks outdoors using the app. I also love to travel; I recently returned from Thailand and am hoping to fit another adventure in before the year is over!

Q: What do you wish more people knew about REACH Prep?

A: How dynamic the organization is in the lives of our families and scholars. We are literally changing the trajectory of entire generations and that is powerful if you think about it. I wish people knew how hard the team works, and what talented individuals make up this organization. More broadly, our existence proves that REACH Prep is a viable, sustainable, and significant solution to providing talented, and high achieving Black & Latinx students the opportunities they deserve.

Q: Tell me about someone you've met during the course of your career who has greatly influenced you.

A: I can’t pinpoint one person; it would have to be the collective of all the students I’ve had the privilege of working with throughout my career. So many unique stories and varied backgrounds and lessons and wisdom they’ve shared. Working with students year after year and seeing them accomplish goals and finish college or start their first job is unparalleled. I take every single one of them with me and their influence on my life is significant. 
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