Rotary Encouraging Academic Collegiate Help


In 2005, the Leawood Rotary Club developed the REACH program.  The purpose of REACH is to conduct a mentoring program that will help students at Bishop Ward High School realize their potential so that they can properly prepare for college; academically, financially and socially.  Mentors will provide a positive outside influence to help these students realize their collegiate goals in spite of any family, social, or economic hurdles they might be facing.

Mission:  Engaging high school students to raise their level of academic aspirations, understand the importance of current decisions, and becoming committed to serving the community. 

Design:  The REACH program was designed for Rotarians to mentor high school students and assist in college planning, preparation, application process, defining career, school selections, and raising social awareness. Although the students are selected by the school administration, it is an eligible program for motivated students regardless of skill level or economic status. 

Goal:  Through mentoring, the Rotarian will help to teach and empower these junior and senior high school students to set their sites on higher education. 

Need: College preparation and application can be an overwhelming process for a high school student. The REACH program provides an adult mentor so that these students receive an extra helpful guide through this endeavor as well as someone to hold them accountable for furthering their education and helping them to navigate in the right direction. 

Slogan: "Own it." This helps to encourage students to accept responsibility and set their sites higher and not settle for anything less than reaching their full potential. 

Commitment: REACH sessions take place once a month over the lunch hour during the academic school year at Bishop Ward High School or Donnelly College space. This is 9 times during the school year.  All scheduled REACH meetings are on the Calendar, which can be found by selecting "Get Involved" menu at the top of this page, and clicking on the option "Events".

Topics: REACH sessions allow a more in depth look into the college process for students. Some of the topics covered throughout the school year will include: 

  • ACT sample testing
  • Resume building
  • Career discussions
  • School searches
  • Scholarship education
  • Public presentations and interview skills
  • Social issues
REACH Mentors

A mentor is defined as a trusted advisor, coach, guide or teacher. 


Mentors will usually be assigned to a junior and will stay with that student through graduation from high school.  During this period of time, mentors are expected to:
  • Undergo Virtus training, as offered by the Arch-Diocese of Kansas City, Ks.  The purpose of this training is to protect children and adults as they work together. 
  • Meet at least once a month at the high school.  These meetings typically take place on a one on one scheduled time during a home room hour or lunch.  (It is up to you and your student to schedule the time that is convenient for both of you). We also meet for multiple meetings in the early evenings throughout the school year. (This enables the opportunity to invite the parents to attend).  There are basically 9 meetings in a year.
  • Meet with your student outside of the regularly scheduled meeting, usually at the students lunch time at Ward High School. (At least once a semester). This is a great opportunity to get to know each other better during a period that you do not have to work on the Naviance curriculum.
  • Maintain positive contact with your student throughout the year, usually through the Naviance website e-mail.
  • Hold your student accountable to the REACH program, track their progress and maintain their attendance records.
  • As a senior mentor, attend their graduation. 
  • Participate with your student on a Leawood/Bishop Ward organized community service project