In 1994, REACH! began with a handful of committed folks, as a program under the Asian Student Union (ASU) at UC Berkeley to target “Asian Pacific American, high school students, especially those who are underrepresented, low-income, and non-college tracked”. Its goals were two-fold: 1) promoting higher education as an attainable goal and 2) empowering students through “building ethnic pride and programs that foster community activism and support APA youth culture”.
As REACH! grew organizationally, the vision and purpose of REACH! grew with it. While the mission remained, “the service and empowerment of recent immigrant and urban Asian Pacific Americans living in at-risk life situations,” we added on that “Our goal is to promote higher education as a means to empower ourselves and improve the economic and social conditions facing our communities.” We saw that REACH! had a unique role on campus and in the API community at large, because REACH! was not just going to increase the numbers of underrepresented Asians at Berkeley but REACH! would be a training ground for future educators, activists, and leaders who would address society’s injustices through their life’s work. Thus, we created programs to raise political awareness, build coalitions, develop youth leaders, and build leadership in ourselves.
Each year, programs have been refined and recreated by (insanely) dedicated and intelligent coordinators, who look for a better way to do things. However, our single most important legacy is the steady stream of community leaders we have and will produce.
We are a student group acting independently of the University of California. We take full responsibility for our organization and this web site.