Reach Within is a program of the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF) which promotes health, well-being, and sustainable development through multi-disciplinary research, education, and community programs. WINDREF promotes collaborative relationships between leading internationally and regionally recognized scholars and adhering to the highest ethical and academic standards of conduct in the pursuit of evidence-based programs and policies.
Reach Within was inspired by the life and legacy of a past WINDREF board member, Bartholomew J. Lawson, who was also an Ambassador-at-Large for Grenada. His untimely passing on July 31, 2003 in Grenada, the West Indies, set his young family on a path of healing and resiliency.
Bart’s greatest joy was found in his three children and he honored their individuality as he made a commitment that their lives would be filled with love and joy. This was driven by his own yearning for meaningful adult connection as a young teen and found respite in the office of a therapist who encouraged him to leave home at only 14 years of age. Bart often spoke of how that one dear old man unwittingly changed the course of his life, propelling him in a direction of self-reliance and self-awareness. Mostly, this man taught Bart that one person’s belief in another can create a sea change in young person’s life.
As a successful NY based healthcare executive, Bart was instrumental in fostering patient-centered regulation at the city, state, and federal levels. Notably, he created an experimental design for the delivery of pediatric services in inner city New York, enlisting America's top pediatrician, Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, to train a corps of doctors serving the least accessible children. He had plans to do similar work for Grenada as an international application of his model of care.
Reach Within was founded as the principal mission of the Bartholomew J. Lawson Foundation for Children. Its philosophical underpinning is based on the sacred concepts of rebirth and regeneration, loss and attainment, and above all, abundance. Using tools and methods that are easy to access, along with a train-the trainer approach, it has been created to be sustainable. Our goal is for Bart’s spirit to live on through the support of the most vulnerable of Grenada’s children by believing in their capacity for change and their deserving of connection, contentment, love, and joy.