Mark Hecker

Mark Hecker 2011 Global Fellow

Reach Incorporated


North America, United States

Mark Hecker 2011 Global Fellow

Bold Idea 

“Flip the script” on traditional literacy programs by hiring and training struggling high-school students to tutor younger children, improving educational outcomes for both groups.

Using a three-pronged approach—training, tutoring, and compensation—Reach Incorporated provides struggling high school readers with the opportunity to improve their reading skills through teaching. Two days each week, tutors prepare lesson plans. On two alternating days, they tutor 2nd and 3rd grade students. Tutors are paid a stipend for their participation, and they are able to address academic skill gaps—both their own and their students'—in an affirming and empowering environment.

Mark Hecker is an award winning social worker and educator who has worked extensively with adolescents in both secure and community-based settings. Throughout his professional career, Mark has worked to improve social and academic outcomes for teens facing significant challenges. His nonprofit organization Reach, Inc., provides teens with the opportunity to improve educational outcomes through the provision of service to fellow members of the community. Mark holds an AB in Psychology from Duke University, an MSW from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a MA Ed from Harvard University.