Reco Bates Impact Coach
Reco (He/Him/His) joined Umoja in August 2020 as a Program Specialist with 7 years of experience and wisdom in transformative grassroots education, mental health advocacy, and community activism.
Reco has spent the past five years in Chicago engaging school communities from a variety of roles. After obtaining his Master’s degree in Counseling from Northern Illinois University, he returned to Chicago to serve as a high school counselor and basketball coach on the west side, at Chicago Tech Academy. Using SEL, trauma-informed art therapy, and restorative community building to foster more student centered therapeutic interventions at a stem charter. Then, yearning to broaden the impact of his passion for transforming educational spaces, Reco helped lead and coordinate the first year implementation of community schools in CPS through facilitating the Sustainable Community Schools grant for ten Chicago Public Schools. Ushering in transformative systems through coaching schools in shared leadership, community-based wisdom building and school-community partnerships. Before agreeing to serve with Umoja, Reco was Dean of Climate & Culture at Walter H. Dyett School for the Arts in the Washington Park neighborhood, rededicating his energy for serving students and families with school communities directly. Utilizing male peer-mentoring, holistic health and wellness, and SEL to contribute to restorative culture.
Reco remains a lifelong south-side resident, where he is committed to raising his son, Ryan, and the resilient efforts of grassroots community change through service and community building initiatives with communities across Chicago.