Eight Atlanta Public Schools students named Class of 2020 REACH Georgia Scholars on Statewide Signing Day

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 (first row, second); Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen, Ed.D (first row, third); REACH Georgia Board Member Stephanie Blank (second row, first); Atlanta Board of Education Members Leslie Grant, District 1; Byron D. Amos, District 2; Matt D. Westmoreland, District 3; and Steven Lee, District 5; and Counseling Coordinator Kenya J. Gilliard, Ph.D. (second row, right), welcome the APS REACH Georgia Scholars from the Class of 2020, as part of a statewide signing day ceremony.  Photo Credit: Scott Clark King, APS
Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal (first row, second); Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen, Ed.D (first row, third); REACH Georgia Board Member Stephanie Blank (second row, first); Atlanta Board of Education Members Leslie Grant, District 1; Byron D. Amos, District 2; Matt D. Westmoreland, District 3; and Steven Lee, District 5; and Counseling Coordinator Kenya J. Gilliard, Ph.D. (second row, right), welcome the APS REACH Georgia Scholars from the Class of 2020, as part of a statewide signing day ceremony. Photo Credit: Scott Clark King, Atlanta Public Schools

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.

Ralph J. Bunche Middle School student Kameron Jenkins, along with his mother Nija Jones, sign his REACH Georgia Scholar contract in the amount of $10,000 before Atlanta Public Schools Deputy Superintendent David Jernigan, Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen, Ed.D and Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal. Photo Credit: Scott Clark King, Atlanta Public Schools
Ralph J. Bunche Middle School student Kameron Jenkins, along with his mother Nija Jones, sign his REACH Georgia Scholar contract in the amount of $10,000 before Atlanta Public Schools Deputy Superintendent David Jernigan, Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen, Ed.D and Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal. Photo Credit: Scott Clark King, Atlanta Public Schools

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.

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