I was saddened to learn about the unexpected passing of our neighbor and friend Hope Reichbach, Communications Director for City Councilman Steve Levin. I found out about an hour after the story was published in The Brooklyn Paper via email from an online friend and website visitor who asked if she was the young woman I interviewed on my podcast. It is.
I met Hope in July 2010 through my colleague Eve who was helping market The Opportunities Project when it was just an idea. Hope had begun her campaign for District Leader and she offered to be interviewed for my first podcast. It was a mutual admiration society. Hope was everything that was good about GenY- young, spunky, idealistic, about the social good, driven and after results. She loved the idea of The Opportunities Project and our mission to coach young people on professional success because she knew her peers needed it and wanted to help.
In September 2010, Eve, Hope and I got together and recorded a 45 minute interview in Hope’s apartment, surrounded by stacks of campaign materials. Her interview was everything I could hope for in my first run. She was direct and open about how important her family was to her success and how young people needed to think differently if they were going to achieve their dreams. You can listen to the podcast here.
Hope and I only hung out a few times after the interview, but as a Brooklynite, I felt like I saw her everywhere doing everything she could to make this borough a better place. There is not much you can say when someone so young passes. As a coach, I almost feel obligated to say something about how we should take lessons from how Hope went for it no matter what, and what are you doing today, yada, yada, yada. But instead, I think I’ll just be sad and feel the loss. I saw a blog tweeted last night that said it better, anyway.
Our thoughts and tears are with her family and friends today.
PS: I never published the podcast on ITunes, nor recorded another episode because podcasting never found its place in my schedule (though I have talked about bringing it back with my team a few times). I received an email via my website from a friend of Hope’s who asked if I could make it downloadable because he’d like to have her voice on his IPod. A colleague is helping me do that and when we can get it up, I’ll put an update on this blog post with the link if you’d like to download it.
UPDATE: Hope’s interview was uploaded to approved by ITunes. You can download it directly from the ITunes Store. We hope it offers comfort to her friends and family.
P.P.S. The Park Slope Patch will have information about Hope’s memorial service on Sunday, May 1.