Scaling Literacy By Reinventing Education with Wendell Byrd – EP 114

Interview with Wendell Byrd


C.L. Turner

Scaling Literacy By Reinventing Education with Wendell Byrd

Wendell Byrd is a former teacher, legendary basketball coach, and education entrepreneur who has dedicated his career to helping young people be more literate. He’s the founder of Readers Are Leaders, a non-profit that has helped over 35,000 at-risk youth all over the country improve their reading.

Their innovative program also helps student-athletes become role models and coaches for their younger peers. They learn patience, encouragement, and enthusiasm as they help struggling students from low-income families become more positive, engaged, and capable students ready to take on life’s challenges.

Wendell learned the importance of having mentors from an early age. As a child, he struggled to read. But he had people around him that believed in him and pushed him forward. He now repays them by doing the same for others.

By earning the trust of both educational institutions and students, he’s been able to scale his organization to dozens of schools. Readers are Leaders started as a pilot project in a couple of cities. Today, they’re in more than 38 schools across the country.

Most importantly, the students they work with not only improve their reading and earn a shot at a better life, but they also grow into model citizens and mentors in their communities who know how to bring the best out of themselves and their peers.

In our conversation, we discuss the importance of following your calling to build a lasting legacy, what sets great mentors apart from good ones, and how Wendell scaled by building a powerhouse team with a shared vision.

Featured on This Episode: Wendell Byrd

✅ What he does: Wendell Byrd is a former elementary school teacher, coach, and education entrepreneur who has dedicated his career to all aspects of education. Wendell was a teacher for 31 years at Hutchison Elementary School in Herndon, VA. In 2003 he founded the non-profit Readers Are Leaders, a program that trains high school athletes to tutor elementary school students in reading. The program’s goal is to promote growth for student-athletes and young readers. The program so far has improved the reading skills of over 35.000 students across the country. As head basketball coach at South Lakes High School in Reston, VA, Wendell amassed more than 450 victories, nine district championships, and six regional championships.

💬 Words of wisdom: I think learning how to present yourself in a strong fashion means a lot in life, and that carries over.” – Wendell Byrd

Key Takeaways with Wendell Byrd

  • How young people can become leaders in their community by improving their literacy.
  • The power of teachers and mentors to change the lives of young people.
  • Why leaders should have the ability and courage to stay calm under immense pressure and lead through their demeanor.
  • How you show up in everyday “mundane” situations determines how you show up when it matters.
  • How Wendell scaled Readers are Leaders to 38 elementary schools, working with 1,600 mentors that have helped over 35,000 students improve their reading.
  • How he continues to rediscover fulfilling ways in which he can impact the lives of young people through teaching them literacy.

Wendell Byrd on Fighting Literacy Through Mentorship

Wendell Byrd Tweetables

“If you can read, you're going to be so much better and have much more self-confidence within yourself to be able to do those things that are important.” – Wendell Byrd Click To Tweet “We all have different crutches that we have to bear. The court system is filled with a lot of students, a lot of young men, and young women that can't read. And it's a large percentage of people that haven't been touched with reading.”… Click To Tweet

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Read the Full Transcript with Wendell Byrd

Justin Donald: What’s up, Wendell? So good to have you on the show.

 

Wendell Byrd: Well, thank you very much.

 

Justin Donald: So, it’s fun how we got connected because I had heard about you before I ever met you and heard so many great things. And I believe our mutual connection is Stephen Vereb. He’s a Lifestyle Investor Mastermind member. He’s one of our – we call him our OGs. So, he’s one of our originals, one of our founding members, and just is the most amazing guy. He sits on your board. He has been such an advocate for you and all the cool stuff that you’re doing, and I’ve been really excited about doing this interview with you.

 

Wendell Byrd: Well, thank you. I met Stephen about, oh, my gosh, over 15 years ago, working out at the YMCA in Reston. And we talked every morning how you’ve grown every morning trying to go to work out and everything and started talking about literacy with his daughters. And we developed a friendship from there. You know, he’s also a Penn State grad, so that meant a lot too. I had sent a player to Penn State, Brian Allen, that he really admired. And so, it really was a common denominator. Once we met each other, we were friends for life.

 

Justin Donald: I love it. And by the way, when you say he’s a Penn State fan, I think we need to go a little bit further and say the full name, fanatic.

 

Wendell Byrd: Fanatic.

 

Justin Donald: You know, because he is. He is like all in and I love it. I love his passion and enthusiasm for life and he’s just so much fun to hang out with. And I interviewed Josh Lee earlier right before this and we were just talking about how interesting it is that sometimes the most random conversations or ways to connect can kind of breed some of the coolest relationships, some of the coolest friendships. And so, the way that I met Josh was he had worked out of my gym. I saw him at a conference and I was like, “Hey, I think you work out at my gym.” You know, it’s kind of funny that you and Stephen Vereb, although he prefers to be called Vereb.

 

Wendell Byrd: Give it to him.

 

Justin Donald: Right? It’s how you and Vereb met, at the gym.

 

Wendell Byrd: Exactly. Exactly. Tremendous person. And I knew sooner or later I would be able to get him into our board. We need that type of energy on our board. And Stephen, he’s definitely bringing that energy in supporting our… Any needs that we have, he is supporting.

 

Justin Donald: Well, cool. So, I love your mission in life. I love your passion. And it’s through a program that really fights illiteracy and it fights it in the younger years, in the younger ages, which I think is great. And so, you started Readers Are Leaders, and I want to dive into this from kind of just like at first a cursory overview then I want to dive into your story and kind of what brought you to it and then really dissect like where Readers Are Leaders are going. So, top level, what is Readers Are Leaders, and what made you want to start this organization?

 

Wendell Byrd: Okay. Readers Are Leaders is a nonprofit that supports student-athletes mentoring elementary school students in reading. I taught elementary school for 31 years. I was a second-grade teacher, and then I went over to the high school South Lakes High School, which is in Reston, Virginia. I became the head basketball coach. I was the basketball coach there for 23 years. With that, our basketball program was very successful, and we always had our hand out asking for funding because I wanted to make sure that our team was first class all the way when we went on trips. We did holiday trips. So, with putting your hand out all the way, you want to be able to say thank you in a way as well. So, one day I had this vision in 2002 that we would start Readers Are Leaders, encompassing what I’m doing in the classroom with literacy and having our student-athletes become model citizens by learning literacy skills and promoting those with the elementary school students.

 

So, we started with – we have a model campus. South Lakes High School has a model campus with an elementary school, middle school, and high school. Terrace Elementary was the elementary school that we shared the program with. I worked with the reading specialists and the principal. And we actually started working with 45 elementary school students, it was a big taking on, and 45 student-athletes. We trained those student-athletes on fundamentals, fundamentals of literacy skills so that they could be prepared to help those students. And we did it for 15 or more weeks with those elementary school students during our season. It was model. We modeled that for two years and then we expanded that throughout the county, throughout Fairfax County, Arlington County, Alexandria, and the D.C. area. In a nutshell, that’s kind of what where we started with it. It was very attractive to other coaches and other elementary schools that we were able to bring student-athletes. And the student-athletes were developing their skill of becoming a role model within their community.

 

Becoming a role model, you can talk to your student-athletes all the time about that, but you have to be able to actually tangibly be thrust into it. So, that’s what we did. We put our student-athletes in it. We put them to a higher level and talked about, “You know, these elementary school students are going to see you every day in the community and you need to be up to par all the time.” We put a little pressure on them. The student, the elementary school students just love the student-athletes coming in and helping them with their reading. So, it was a win-win. A lot of coaches feel that the program was designed for the sporting teams but most of the elementary students, they think it’s the opposite.

 

Justin Donald: That’s amazing. I love that program. And I think it’s so imperative to have the ability to impact literacy at a young age because that’s where you start to kind of define yourself. It’s like self-image kicks in early. And if you feel like you’re not smart, you’re not well educated, these are the things that are long-lasting a lot of the time. I mean, my daughter, we recently found out that she was diagnosed with dyslexia. And for the longest time, we’ve been trying to figure out what is it, what is maybe the complication for her in the way that she learns? And thank goodness we figured this out. And it’s cool seeing like all the successful people in life in all different avenues that are dyslexic. But what ended up happening before learning what it was is that she felt like she couldn’t read. She’d even say, like, “I don’t know how to read. I’m not good at reading.” And that was the negative self-talk was kicking in and you could see that that follows them. It starts to become ingrained in who they are that they can start to believe the lie that they’re not good enough just the way they are.

 

Wendell Byrd: Exactly. And I think a lot of people don’t understand that. We all have different crutches that we have to bear. The court system is filled with a lot of students, a lot of young men, and young women that can’t read. And it’s a large percentage of people that haven’t been touched with reading. They had difficulty in school. They found other means and they found themselves on the wrong track because they couldn’t work within a school environment. And at the elementary school level, we need to really bear down with literacy as much as we can and we can do it. We can do it. We can actually support those students by giving them additional support within the reading.

 

Justin Donald: Yeah. That’s incredible. So, what I want to do is I want to figure out how we got to where we are. This program’s amazing, and I love the win-win capability of it because I know this is making stronger men and women at the high school level. That’s leadership at its finest right there when you can take people under your wing, when you learn to become a mentor. But you’re also in an arena where you’re the mentee. You’ve got coaches pouring into you, but then sometimes you feel ill-equipped to be able to mentor someone else. Well, here’s a great opportunity where you totally can and you know you’ve got value to add. So, I love that. Let’s talk about your earlier years. Is there something that happened with you in your childhood where maybe you felt some of these things? Or is this just something that you observed over time?

 

Wendell Byrd: No. Thank you for asking that question because I started off at an elementary school which is very interesting because I had difficulty with reading. Schools became integrated when I was in the fifth grade. Kindergarten through fourth grade, I went to James Lee Elementary, which was in the City of Falls Church or Fairfax County Public Schools. And we had great teachers and continue to give me support all the time. My parents were very encouraging. They knew that I needed additional support. In the summertime, I would work with different teachers to get better in reading. When schools were integrated, I was almost prepared but I really received the additional support from really good educators. They knew I had it and they worked with me. Madison Elementary was in City of Falls Church. It’s no longer there in the City of Falls Church but I went to George Mason High School, which is in the City of Falls Church. And I helped, actually, we were only five black families that helped integrate the city of fostered schools at that particular time.

 

Just had my 50th reunion. Actually, it was a 51st reunion of the high school. Tremendous education there but the big thing in education, you can have good teachers and you have great teachers. I felt like throughout my career in education, I received good, really great educators. They were just superb. And they worked with me and they advanced me so that I could go on to college. And then I became a teacher. So, it was very rewarding but I learned a lot from the teachers that touched me. They learned how to support and nurture other students as well.

 

Justin Donald: So, when you talk about integration, right, this is going back to the time of segregation. And so, I just want to clarify for anyone who doesn’t understand that. And being one of the few families that was really involved in that process, I have to imagine that was incredibly challenging. The paradigm is shifting and a lot of people don’t want that shift. And so, you’re going to take the brunt of a lot of the emotions around it or the misunderstanding or just the ignorance, right?

 

Wendell Byrd: Correct. Correct. It’s interesting because the City of Falls Church in Virginia, Northern Virginia is only two square miles. So, with that, there were only five black families that lived in that area. So, I live beside my buddies in the same neighborhood that went to Fairfax County public schools. So, the only time I saw my friends that I grew up with was at church or on a Saturday that we weren’t playing football against another program or Sunday or Friday. But that was the only time I would reconnect with the group that I grew up with. So, then it’s interesting because I was very fortunate. City of Falls Church, very liberal. Great teachers, great administrators, public educators, the whole nine yards. I have great friends. Of course, there was a little bit of not in the City of Falls Church, but when we went and participated in Warren County, Berry County, Berryville County, Winchester, that way, it was pretty tough. A lot of words were said, a lot of words that you don’t like to hear. We had people rocking the bus. After we win a game, they would rock the bus. They would throw rocks at the bus.

 

Coach Gamble would say, we’re walking off the field. Make sure we always said football terms. Keep your hat on. So, he said, “Don’t take your hats off. Keep them on. And we’re not taking showers. Go directly to the bus and we’ll get out of here.” And then the state police there was saying, “We’ll take you to the county line.” And I always thought I’m saying, “Well, what happens after the county line?” Well, I always thought, you know, but Mr. Major, who was our bus driver, which was the captain of the fire department that drove us around all the time, he said, “Don’t worry. I got this covered.” He always said, “Don’t worry. Get on. We got this covered.” So, very fortunate with that.

 

Justin Donald: Well, I can’t even imagine what that would be like. And I feel like it’s the finest show of leadership to be able to emotionally weather that storm and to not react, to truly be mentally tough enough to hold the things that you want to say that you rightfully could and should say to defend yourself or in retaliation and to just keep your hat on. So, very powerful there. And fun fact, Remember The Titans is a movie, one of my favorite movies, and gives even some perspective of the time, right?

 

Wendell Byrd: Exactly.

 

Justin Donald: That was filmed right next to where you grew up, right?

 

Wendell Byrd: Exactly right. Right down the street. Right down the street. So, we knew of, you know, we didn’t play in that particular league or anything but we knew of everyone. Yeah. I mean, it was difficult. You would think even in Northern Virginia, you wouldn’t have that adversity. But when you’re bringing in people that both groups you’re trying to encompass and develop programs, it sometimes evolves into a racial setting but also it’s a competitive nature also because you take the best of both schools and combining them. You know you’re going to have a competitiveness that I think… I think it was overshadowed a little bit, the competitiveness in the movie. It can show a little more. It’s competitive. I remember as soon as I went to a different school, everybody wants to try me. And if you don’t show, it’s okay. If you do show, they want you a little bit more. So, I think it’s the competitiveness. Yeah, it’s racial at times but I think with athletes it’s more so competitiveness than anything.

 

Justin Donald: Yeah. And so, it’s interesting. You live in a world. So, you were a student-athlete, right? You then went to coach student-athletes and pour into them beyond just the sports, beyond just the etiquette, on and off the field, but into leadership in many different ways. So, I’ve got to imagine, though, you’ve got a lot of these student-athletes that their dream is to go on and be a professional. We all, you know, anyone who played sports probably dreamt that. If you’re playing in high school, you’re close. Right. A lot of your athletes went on to play in college in D1, D2, D3, right?

 

Wendell Byrd: Right.

 

Justin Donald: But the vast majority, they’re not going to play professionally. They’re probably not even going to play in college just based on that gap of talent. So, a lot of the skills then that you’re looking to instill need to be for what it looks like if you don’t make it, if you’re not a pro, if you don’t get on the college team, right?

 

Wendell Byrd: Exactly. Exactly. Well, teaching young men to be great men. And a small thing of when you go on a job interview, you need to have your shoes shined. You have nice slacks on and a tie and a nice shirt. If you have a coat, great. One of our rules was to go to a game on a bus or to school. You always wear a tie and be well dressed. And of course, you have some players that will try you on the biggest ball games when you’re going away. And you have to say, well, I guess you’re staying home because you don’t have your tie on. Because I think learning how to present yourself in a strong fashion means a lot in life, and that carries over. A lot of my players that are now parents themselves tell me, “Coach, I get it.” You know, ten years ago, when they were in their twenties, they still were trying but as they got a little older, I get these text messages and Facebook and things like that. They’ll say, “I got it. I really understand what you were trying to instill in us because I’m a man now and I know how. And I want to be able to stand up tall for my children and other young men and young women in the neighborhood also.”

 

Justin Donald: Wow. I love it. So, I don’t know if you’re familiar with JeVon McCormick. I had him on my podcast recently. He wrote the book, Modern Leader, and just a great read, just an amazing guy. I’m so impressed. But it’s what you’re talking about now that in a lot of communities, some of the things that many people would take for granted just don’t exist. Like, the education around, like how to properly dress, how to shake hands, how to make eye contact, how to have conversation with people that are older than you, how to present yourself in the workplace, how to learn some soft skills that can make you more marketable and even just language itself. And so, it’s interesting hearing you discuss this and seeing how much of a priority this is with your student-athletes that these are the things that are actually going to be more beneficial than blocking and tackling on the field.

 

Wendell Byrd: Exactly. It’s life lessons. You know, it truly is life lesson. When we would travel to Myrtle Beach, for example, for a holiday tournament with basketball, I wanted my team to be first class all the way, you know, all the way. So, we explained to them how important it is to, you know, we have three meals. We’ll pay for everything but you’re going to have an allowance like you would if you were in a big-time school playing basketball someplace else. So, you have to learn how to budget. You have breakfast. You have lunch. Dinner is going to be taken care of. Learn how to budget your money. Also, when you’re actually eating, we didn’t dine with them every morning meal. You have to learn how to tip appropriately and be well-dressed, be respectful so that things follow through for the rest of your teammates. And we were very fortunate because our players understood what we were trying to do. And we had a lot of compliments from the staff of the hotel that we were staying at or where we were eating at that our players really did a nice job with it. And that’s because they learned from each other the appropriate so that you can pass that on and build upon it.

 

Justin Donald: Yeah. And let’s take that full circle because Stephen Vereb told me that he’s met many of your former players now through your golf tournament and different Readers Are Leaders events. And he just said they’re some of the most amazing people that he’s ever met, that they’re just leaders at heart, they have gone on to do great things, but more over than that, they’re just great souls. And I think that that is a testament to the leadership that you’ve been able to provide and for that recognition that, in the moment, maybe they didn’t value what you were teaching them, but at some point, they did and they made sure to get back to you to let you know. And the irony is you only hear from a small percentage of people for the impact that it had because there are so many thousands more for how long you taught and how long you coached. But it’s still pretty meaningful to get those, isn’t it?

 

Wendell Byrd: Oh, without a doubt. It’s very gratifying. You know, watching them now be great men and you can see they’re instilling good qualities into their families. That’s just beautiful.

 

Justin Donald: I love it. And I know you’re very modest. You’re not going to brag about yourself so I’m going to because a lot of people probably don’t realize that you had so much impact. You were so influential that the high school that you coached at named the gym after you, Coach Wendell Byrd: Hall. What a great honor to have anything named after you, right? But for how many people are going to pass through that and be able to hear the story, learn the story? I mean, I think that is one fine example of a life truly lived.

 

Wendell Byrd: Yeah, very fortunate. I mean at that with having my name up on the wall there is really it’s just a testament of the young men that have gone through there and done some tremendous things within their lives. So, I share that with not just the young men but all the young women that have come through, worked through the gym, worked hard times. That’s what it’s all about and I’m very, very appreciative of that.

 

Justin Donald: Oh, it’s awesome. Well, you started this. I guess the blueprint began back in 2003. So, when was it formalized? Was that it or was that just kind of the rough sketches and then it took off at a later point in time?

 

Wendell Byrd: Yeah. Around 2000 to 2003, I actually had in my mind that I was going to teach for 31 years and that I was going to try to figure out what I was going to do in my latter part of life. And I had one of my mentors, David Colburn. We sat down one day and he said, “Well, what are you going to do?” And I said, “I’m going to retire.” And he said, “Well, what are you going to do?” I continue to say I’m going to retire. He said, “But what are you going to do? You know, you have some great lives. You know, you’ve got a great life ahead of you. What are you going to do?” And he said, “Put together a dashboard of things. You know, let’s talk about it. Let’s put together a dashboard.” And I looked at him like, what’s a dashboard? And I’ve got to figure out all these terms here. So, I went home and I started working on my dashboard of what I was going to do and pluses and minuses of things, and it turned out really well. I then came up with incorporating my elementary school and my high school settings together to put together Readers Are Leaders.

 

We had a pilot program at Langston Hughes in South Lakes for two years and then after that, we expanded the program each year throughout Fairfax County, Arlington County, Alexandria, and throughout the schools. And now, we’re in the process that we’re at 38 programs and that 38 programs, it means 38 student athletic programs are working with 38 elementary schools. So, I mean, we’re about 1,600 strong and it’s really pushing forward. And it’s one of those things of it was growing so quickly, I didn’t know if I could keep up with the economics of it. So, we kind of try to say, well, we’re very selective and we are very selective on who we place in the program because if you’re a coach, you have to buy into it. You have to really make sure that your student-athletes are there. You’re monitoring those student-athletes as well. Elementary is easy because it’s a captive audience. They’re going to come because there are reading specialists or their teachers are going to do it. But you also may have to give up some of your practice time or adjust your practice time.

 

Every time we did it, actually, when I did our programs, we always practice late that day. We’re not going to practice at 3:30, we’re going to practice at 5:30. To make sure we have plenty of time, we’re not going to rush. We’re never going to rush those elementary school students. We’re going to make it through. So, the pilot program went well. We pushed it on and everything else is history.

 

Justin Donald: Well, I love it. The second half of your life, Wendell, reminds me a lot of a book that I read years ago, which you probably have read called Halftime by Bob Buford. Incredible book about moving from success to significance and kind of this whole idea like you think you’re retiring. No, this is the next season of your life and this is the season of the greatest impact or the potential to have the greatest impact, which is cool. And I love that book and I love that shift of thinking where it’s not that you’ve come to the end, you’ve come to the beginning of the next chapter, and this next chapter can be more rewarding and more fulfilling than anything else that you’ve ever done.

 

Wendell Byrd: Right, exactly. Yeah. My wife and I, we just retired to Wilmington, North Carolina. Great place, great beaches, and great golf courses. So, it’s been very rewarding in ourselves but, yeah, we’re really enjoying the opportunity to retire and enjoy our grandchildren and all those good things. But sitting around with some buddies, met a lot of great people down here, and we now started Readers Are Leaders down here in North Carolina as well. So, we have about three to four programs actually meeting with a Boys & Girls Club tomorrow to see if we can expand it there as well. Actually, it’s going to be there but I’m going to do training tomorrow of the students that are there so that they can work through it. So, it’s a really easy program to implement. We want to make sure that we just touch as many students as we can to improve their literacy. If you can read, you’re going to be so much better and have much more self-confidence within yourself to be able to do those things that are important.

 

Justin Donald: Well, it’s a building block. It’s foundational. So, in order to get to the next level of education, you need to have the foundation to be able to read to get there. So, you can see how it falls apart for people. You know, for kids specifically, they don’t have the confidence. They can’t get to the next level of reading because they don’t have the foundation on how to even read and interpret what it is that they will need to learn. So, yeah, major challenges there. I love that you’re going to be creating more of that in the North Carolina area. I’ve got a lot of family out there and one of my good friends lives out there in Wilmington. I love Wilmington, just an incredible place. And in fact, I probably should connect you with my good friend. I don’t know if you’ve heard of the company, N2 Publishing.

 

Wendell Byrd: Yes.

 

Justin Donald: So, my friend, Duane Hixon, and his partner, Earl Seals, are the founders of that company. But Duane lives there in Wilmington and I think it would be an incredible connection for you. So, remind me, I’ll have to connect you there. Yeah. So, talk a little bit about what it is that your vision for the future is. How big do you see this getting? I know you got an annual golf outing that you do to raise money and create awareness. I think at the end of the day, people would love this. They just may not know about it. So, the whole idea is how do we shout from the mountaintops about this so more people know that this is a possibility to implement inside their program?

 

Wendell Byrd: Well, you know, really, everybody could go to our website, ReadersAreLeadersNonprofit.org. It would be great. And just scroll through. You’ll see what we’ve been able to accomplish in a very short period of time. We’ve probably touched over 35,000 students or more at this particular time. You know, there are students everywhere. There’s a possibility of starting a fall program in Florida. I have people reaching out all throughout the country but it takes dedication to run a program. It’s not like I can’t be there and run that program for them. So, we’re trying to find people that are very, very interested. I will do the training of the people and from there they start their program and within a domino effect, they can push it on to other schools within their county. So, anything in the respect of not having, we don’t have but one large fundraiser, which is our golf tournament that will be held Friday, September 30th. But there’s always a way to donate to Readers Are Leaders by going to ReadersAreLeadersNonprofit.org. Follow through our annual reports there that will give you a great look at a great picture of what we’ve been able to accomplish and where we should be able to go from there.

 

Justin Donald: Well, fantastic. You know, Wendell, I have just really enjoyed our time here. I love learning about all the stuff that you’re doing and the impact that you’re having, this goal and passion that you have to educate the youth and make sure that they’ve got a great shot at life and an opportunity to grow into the man or woman that we all know that they can become. So, I appreciate you sharing this. And for anyone that is interested in either supporting this financially or bringing this into their school or if you know people that are in the academic school system that should know about this, please get this resource out because I would love to spread the word about Readers Are Leaders and make this a lot more well-known just all throughout the U.S., specifically throughout the world. I think this is such an incredible program. So, thank you for joining. And any last thoughts that you have?

 

Wendell Byrd: Well, yeah. First of all, thank you. Thank you for your time and being so that you reach so many people. I’ve gone to your podcast. They’re tremendous. And Stephen said great things about you and I appreciate what you’re doing, not just for me, but for others as well because you’re really helping people massage their brain a little bit there in that respect. But Readers Are Leaders is there for everyone. We would like to thank you for spreading the word of Readers Are Leaders, and we hope that we were able to push literacy as much as we can because without literacy, we’re a long ways out of it. So, thank you so much.

 

Justin Donald: Well, my pleasure. This has been just a joy to learn about you and learn about this cool program that you’ve been able to create and the impact that you’ve had on so many people, just so powerful. And I really love closing each episode out by asking one simple question of my listeners, and that’s this. What’s one step that you can take today towards financial freedom and living a life that you truly desire on your terms, not by default, but by design so that you can do the things that you’re most passionate about, you can participate in the things that you care the most about, you can get involved in things that make real impact and real change in the world? Thanks. And we’ll catch you next week.

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