Reciprocity Grad Isis King Returns to America's Next Top Model: NYC-Based Nonprofit Groomed Isis for Celebrity

Sep 16, 2011, 09:47 ET from Reciprocity Foundation

NEW YORK, Sept. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On the September 14th season premiere of Tyra Banks' hit show America's Next Top Model, transgender contestant Isis King returned as a fan favorite.  Isis got her start on the show posing as a model for a Cycle 5 episode focused on youth homelessness.  On the next season, she returned as a fierce contestant, despite the physical challenges of modeling as a transgender female, prior to her gender reassignment surgery.

Founded by Taz Tagore and Adam Bucko in 2004, the Reciprocity Foundation ( has helped countless homeless youth from all five boroughs of New York City to transcend poverty, isolation and a lack of direction. Through intensive counseling, yoga, meditation, media training, college preparation and career coaching, the organization helps homeless youth like Isis King start careers in creative sectors such as film, television, fashion and design.  

"Isis was a charismatic, intelligent student who is passionate about fashion design and modeling," says Adam Bucko, co-founder of the Reciprocity Foundation.  "But as a transgendered woman who lived in a homeless shelter, she faced more obstacles than other aspiring designers and models.  That's where we came in.  We helped train Isis to handle the challenges of success while retaining her integrity."  

This season of America's Next Top Model will be more challenging than ever.  The contestants are not about to let Isis steal the spotlight—and Isis, who is beloved as the first transgender model to achieve fame after RuPaul, is not willing to be defeated.  

"Isis is back on America's Next Top Model to do more than model," said Taz Tagore, co-founder of the Reciprocity Foundation.  "She wants to knock down barriers for people with a different sexual orientation. She's become a leader to thousands of young women of all sexual orientations."

During her time as a student at the Reciprocity Foundation, Isis honed her knowledge of the fashion industry and her design skills.  She also learned how to network with fashion industry leaders and to compete in a hyper-competitive industry.  

Reciprocity co-founder Adam Bucko said, "At the outset, Isis was like many of our students—passionate about fashion but unable to translate her vision into a career.  We helped her develop the skills to become a leader and a role model in America.  By the time we introduced Isis to Tyra Banks and Jay Manuel, she was prepared to take advantage of the opportunity."

For more information, contact the Reciprocity Foundation or CW for information about the show or visit

For an exclusive video about Isis and her time at Reciprocity, visit the Reciprocity Foundation channel on YouTube or Vimeo visit

ABOUT US: Reciprocity Foundation (, is 501c3 nonprofit organization co-founded by Adam Bucko and Taz Tagore to help homeless young adults achieve financial stability and sustainable careers. The organization is built on the premise that an integrated approach—combining business skills, media training, yoga, meditation, mentorship, supportive services and whole-person counseling—enables youth to break the cycle of poverty.  Since it's inception, the Reciprocity Foundation has helped hundreds of homeless youth become successful entrepreneurs, community leaders, educators and media activists.

SOURCE Reciprocity Foundation