When her son Reid was 2 years old, Lynn Koutras was concerned about his delayed speech. She took him to the early childhood intervention center at Benfield Elementary, which connected the Koutras family with Cisco Nochera, an educator with the program and the owner of the Cisco Center, which provides education to children with special needs. A lifelong relationship was established.
“Mr. Cisco is a miracle worker,” Lynn said. “Reid was talking and doing things he never did prior to working with him.”
Now 13 years later, at the age of 15, Reid is giving back to Nochera by building a vinyl fence around the playground at the Cisco Center, located in Severna Park on Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard.
“When I asked Cisco how I could help, they showed me the fence,” Reid said. “They were a little hesitant about it because materials are very expensive, but it was obvious that they really needed it done, so I promised to make it happen.”
On September 22, Reid joined members of his crew from Boy Scout Troop 450 and Fence and Deck Connection to spend the day laboring with materials to install a new enclosure as part of his Eagle Scout project. They took down the old wood fence that was falling down and peeling and replaced it with one that is safer for the children.
It took a village for this project to be pulled off and Reid was quick to recognize those who helped make the day a success.
“I would like to give a special thanks to Fence and Deck Connection for all of the supplies and help with labor,” Reid said. “I would also like to thank Severna Park Ledo for allowing me to do the fundraiser. We were able to make money to feed all the workers and pay for some other expenses. Also, a thank you to the scouts at Troop 450 who came out to help me and a final thank you to my family and friends for their help and support.”
The project allowed Reid to demonstrate his leadership skills by guiding people and showing them what needed to be done.
Lynn couldn’t express enough thanks for what Nochera did for her son. “Not long after Mr. Cisco opened the Cisco Center, they had a terrible fire,” she said. “Being a nonprofit, they had a tough time getting back on their feet. Even today, I know any donations are a true blessing to them. It’s important to know that Mr. Cisco also helped point us in the right direction after Reid graduated from ECI so we could be educated advocates for Reid as he moved through the school system.”
Today, Reid is a sophomore at Severna Park High School. When he’s not busy with school work or scouts, which he loves because of the time it allows with great friends and the opportunities it affords to give back, he’s playing piano, participating in taekwondo, and enjoying life.
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