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My husband, Aaron, and I have the privilege of volunteering with Reach One Teach One UCA (ROTO UCA), an after-school organization that focuses on serving the underserved kids in the Chattanooga community. ROTO UCA accomplishes this by providing resources including tutoring, a computer lab, music lessons, leadership and entrepreneurial training, a basketball league, and much more. 

ROTO UCA Lions

Founder and Executive Director, Reginald Yearby, spent 90 months in prison for a drug conviction. During his incarceration, Reginald (Coach Red), spent a lot of time focusing on how to improve his community once he got out. According to a Times Free Press article written by Mark Kennedy, Coach Red said, “The idea came to me once I was incarcerated: If I can reach one and teach one, he will tell a friend, and that’s how the cycle begins.”

Coach Red with The ROTO UCA Lions. Image: WTVC

And so Coach Red began, building the 501C3 Non-profit organization, Reach One Teach One UCA. The UCA stands for unity, community, and academics. ROTO UCA not only provides important resources to children in the Chattanooga community, but they also get the kids involved in serving their community as well. In 2020, they gathered hundreds of Thanksgiving meals and served them to the homeless. ROTO UCA consistently holds events that serve the kids in the organization as well as the community around them, living up to the ‘UCA’ in their title.

ROTO UCA Toy Drive, 2020
ROTO UCA gathering to give Thanksgiving meals to the homeless, 2020

Aaron and I have been blown away by what we’ve experienced during our time volunteering at ROTO UCA. We’ve seen friendships blossom, grades improve, poor attitudes change, and previously timid kids find their confidence. Coach Red, Tameeka Millener, Stephanie Athalone, Cardarius Sanders, and many others spend countless hours each week, without complaint, working so hard for these kids, all while having full-time jobs of their own. I, personally, am constantly inspired by their servant’s hearts, positive attitudes, and incredible work ethic. 

If you’re looking to get more involved in the Chattanooga community, this is a great place to start. ROTO UCA will welcome you into their family with open arms. To learn more about this organization, follow the links below. 

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the road is my kingdom: a poem by Aaron Quinn

Emily Quinn

Emily Quinn

Emily Quinn is a Chattanoogan that dabbles in many different art forms, from music and writing to digital art and watercolors. She is the Social Media Manager for Walnut Street Publishing and a volunteer with Reach One Teach One UCA. Emily is a proud cat mom of 3, but most notably, she is the lucky wife of the talented writer, Aaron Quinn.

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