by Kimberly Willis Green
Eight Atlanta Public Schools (APS) eighth grade students were named REACH (Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen) Georgia Scholars and participated in the REACH Statewide Signing Day Ceremony with APS Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen, Ed.D, Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal, and members of the Atlanta Board of Education.
The APS REACH Scholars, scheduled to graduate from high school in 2020, signed scholarship contracts along with their parents, during a ceremony that included their principals and school counselors. As the second group of APS REACH Scholars, they are among 177 students who participated in Signing Day across the Georgia.
The Class of 2020 APS REACH Georgia Scholars are:
Kristin White Joseph E. Brown Middle School
Kameron Jenkins Ralph J. Bunche Middle School
Jaylee Davis Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy
Terrah Sullivan Harper-Archer Middle School
Janiyah Cowherd Samuel Inman Middle School
Daniel Bonner KIPP STRIVE Academy
Maria Nino-Suastegui Willis Sutton Middle School
Kacie Geter Sylvan Hills Middle School
Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal read a commendation to the REACH Scholars by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and offered the students post-secondary planning advice. “Take advantage of the opportunities you are given, listen to your mentors and work with your academic counselors,” said Deal. “Give back to your community and keep record of the things that you are doing.” Georgia Student Finance Commission President Tricia Chastain and REACH Georgia Board Member Stephanie Blank congratulated the students on being selected as REACH Scholars.
Click here to watch the Atlanta Public Schools Class of 2020 REACH Georgia Signing Day Ceremony.
As a part of the scholarship program, the students signed contracts to maintain a 2.5 grade point average, remain free of crime, drug, and behavior issues and meet with a volunteer mentor until they graduate from high school. Their parents or guardians also signed contracts to support their student’s education. When the REACH scholars graduate from high school, they will receive up to a $10,000 scholarship — $2,500 each year for up to four years to be used at a HOPE eligible Georgia two- or four-year college/university. Many colleges have matched the REACH scholarship and some have doubled the amount to provide scholars with additional resources for their education.
About the REACH Georgia Scholarship Program
Launched in 2012, the REACH (Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen) Georgia Scholarship Program is a key program of Governor Nathan Deal’s Complete College Georgia Initiative. The needs-based mentorship and scholarship program is designed to encourage students, starting in middle school, to persist in their educational pursuits. Students are provided with the academic, social, and financial support needed to graduate from high school, access college, achieve post-secondary success, and to be prepared for the 21st Century workforce.
About Atlanta Public Schools
Atlanta Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the state of Georgia, serving over 50,000 students across 98 learning sites. The district is organized into nine K-12 clusters with 80 schools, 18 charter schools and two citywide single-gender academies, where students are offered rigorous instructional programs that foster success in school and life. For more information, visit www.atlantapublicschools.us.