Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen (REACH) Georgia has announced that the Newton County School System (NCSS) is one of 19 additional Georgia school systems that will be participating in the program in the 2015-2016 school year. Georgia school systems had the opportunity to apply to participate in REACH Georgia during the application process that was open from December 1 through February 25.
“I am very excited that we have been selected to participate in the REACH Georgia initiative. Community collaboration and support are critical to the success of our students,” said NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey. “The REACH Georgia program provides a platform for our local businesses and industries to join forces to greatly impact the educational opportunities of our students through their future contributions to the REACH Georgia Scholarship. We look forward to strengthening our partnerships and employing all of our resources to change the lives of students in our school system.”
“The REACH program is a premier example of how we are working to expand access to higher education to students who otherwise would not be able to afford it,” said Governor Nathan Deal. “Through REACH, Georgia’s most promising students can turn their dream of attending college and making a better life for themselves and their families into a reality. This program continues to expand across Georgia because it promotes student achievement from the ground up, rewarding students for self-accountability, involving parents and providing motivation and support. With this combination, I have no doubt that the hard-working students in the 19 additional school systems will find that a college education can finally be in their reach.”
Governor Deal launched REACH in 2012 as a key initiative of Complete College Georgia. School systems partner with REACH and identify academically promising, low income eighth grade students to serve as REACH Scholars. These Scholars are paired with a mentor and an academic coach through high school. Upon graduation from high school, Scholars are awarded up to a $10,000 scholarship to be used at a Georgia HOPE-eligible two or four-year college.
“We are pleased with the program’s growth over the past two years,” stated Tricia Chastain, President, Georgia Student Finance Commission. “The program started small with five school systems and 23 Scholars participating in the first two years. With the selection of these additional school systems, REACH will have a total of 42 school systems and over 340 Scholars participating next school year,” added Chastain.
“Our goal is to have 2000 REACH Scholars by 2020,” stated Brad Bryant, Executive Director, REACH. “With continued public and private support for REACH Scholarships, we will meet this goal,” added Bryant.
The new REACH school systems for the 2015-2016 school year include: Baldwin County, Barrow County, Burke County, Butts County, Carrollton City, Coweta County, Decatur County, Dawson County, Early County, Fannin County, Lamar County, Liberty County, Newton County, Richmond County, Savannah-Chatham County, Sumter County, Taylor County, Wilcox County, and Wilkinson County.