Today, REACH has more than 400 student volunteers, interns, and faculty and community partners. With a focus on health and wellness, education and homeownership, REACH strives to eliminate social and financial inequities in college towns across the country, not just College Station.
Through a combined 200,000 service hours at Texas A&M alone, REACH has distributed 400,000 pounds of produce, raised $165,000 for COVID-19 relief, helped diagnose 65 essential workers with diabetes, launched 30 minority-owned businesses and provided 51 homeownership journey kits that have already helped six participants become homeowners. One day, Gerall hopes REACH will create a transitional housing community where families can invest in themselves and have access to integrated health and financial services.
While REACH prioritizes transforming the lives of essential campus workers, it also transforms student mindsets. One such student, Logan Miertschin ’22, was shy and reserved before getting involved with REACH and had chosen to study chemical engineering to secure a high-paying job. After working with the organization for a year, Miertschin forfeited the high-paying job he had secured after graduation to join the Peace Corps in Ghana.
“REACH trains future leaders to have the mindset of meeting families where they are and allowing those families to drive the solutions we provide,” Gerall explained. “Students’ eyes are opened to the world. When they graduate, they take their hearts of service and empathy with them.”