SARATOGA SPRINGS — In 2010 schoolteacher, tennis and basketball coach Rich Johns, retired from the traditional structures of education and coaching and began a nonprofit known as Act With Respect Always (AWRA). The organization has flourished and has taken Coach Johns to schools as far as Duke University and as local as Saratoga Springs High. This month would be the sixth month that AWRA has trademarked it’s new Visibility Project.
AWRA is an organization, and a mission in itself; to treat yourself and others with kindness and respect. Through speaking engagements, Johns uses his platform to promote others to create opportunities to make positive impacts in another person’s life.
The new factor of AWRA - the Visibility Project, takes interacting with someone one step further – to be seen.
“When you become visible, you’re strong, and you believe in yourself, I hope,” said Johns.
This project promotes reaching out to others and letting them know their presence and visibility in this society is of importance.
“Part of my mission before I leave a school is to stress to those adults in that environment, connect with them, and tell them I’m one of your solid five, and you can get in touch with me,” said Johns. “To me, making young kids know that they have this solid group with them, and they love you, they care for you, and they’ll do anything for you makes you visible."
At each speaking engagement, Johns attends, he makes a point to bring a book and postcards. This is not only to leave students, athlete and the teachers with something to incorporate but to provide an opportunity to encourage connection through the written word.
The new AWRA T-Shirt that states “The Visibility Project” is marked with a large, vibrant yellow circle on the back. Literally visible at afar, but meaningfully visible to the wearer, who are all connected through the message of the Visibility Project.
AWRA IS A 501 © 3 charitable organization. To get involved or to support the organization be visible, and connect with Coach Rich Johns through Facebook or Instagram or actwithrespectalways.com.