Our Stories

Reach for Excellence Career Day 2024

On January 20, 2024, Reach for Excellence alumni joined our scholars to talk about their careers. Representing lawyers, consultants, software engineers, foreign service officers and more, these accomplished Reach graduates shared details about their jobs, their education, and their career choices. Each graduate spoke to the group, then answered questions in break out sessions. We were thrilled and honored to have such an accomplished and diverse group:

  • Genie Arcila, Cohort 2006 D, Emory University – Software Engineer, Oracle
  • Amanda Bradley, Cohort 2007 E, Harvard University – Attorney, Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore
  • Jessica Devins, Cohort 2008 F, University of Georgia – Associate Attorney, Groth, Makarenko, Kaiser, & Eidex
  • Josiane Galley, Cohort 2008 F, University of Georgia – Senior Program Manager, Ads Marketing for Amazon
  • Derrick Lewis, Cohort 2010 H, Morehouse College – Account Executive, Salesforce and Reach for Excellence Board Member
  • Wollinsky Mendez, Cohort 2005 C, St. Leo University – Consultant, Yardi Systems and Reach for Excellence Board Member
  • Rachel Wong, Cohort 2011 I, Macalester College/Georgetown – Foreign Service Officer heading to posting at US Embassy in Beirut Lebanon

The students eagerly listened to the speakers’ presentations then ran to meet with their favorites in the breakouts. One student teased Amanda Bradley, who has both her undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard, that he was going to be a lawyer but planning to attend Yale. Rachel Wong, a Foreign Service Officer, spoke to the students about her interest in languages and different cultures and explained that as part of her preparation to move to Lebanon, she was learning Arabic. Genie Arcilo spoke about starting her career as a teacher, then taking classes to become a Software Engineer. She also shared that the communication and collaboration skills she learned teaching were some of the things she used most in her current role.

Each of the speakers had valuable insight to share. We are so grateful to this group for giving back to our program and helping our students see the possibilities for the future.