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Six students awarded REACH scholarships at BHS

Six Decatur County Schools students were awarded REACH scholarships valued at $10,000 at a signing ceremony held at Bainbridge High School on Wednesday, December 2. The scholars for 2020-2021 are Nevaeh Barber, Gabriel Cook, Yahir Ortiz, Destiny Palma, Maribella Salvador Vasquez and Malia Stubbs.

The Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen (REACH) Scholarship Program was launched in Georgia in 2012 and is a needs-based mentorship and scholarship program 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 postsecondary success, and be prepared for the 21st century workforce. Locally, students are recommended by teachers at the end of the 7th grade year and must complete an application and interview in the fall of their 8th grade year.

REACH scholars will receive a $10,000 scholarship to be used at Georgia two year, four year, or technical colleges. Many Georgia colleges double the scholarship making the scholarship potentially worth $20,000. A portion of the scholarships must be collected within the community. This year the community sponsors for the scholarships are First Port City Bank, Scott and Monica Ewing, The Thomas M. and Irene B. Kirbo Charitable Foundation, and Envision Credit Union.

The six scholars who signed a commitment today join fifteen REACH scholars at Bainbridge High School and will be assigned an academic coach and mentor. Decatur County Schools has participated in the program for six years. Kathy Varner, REACH Coordinator reports that the first REACH scholars, Leigha Sapp and Yugi Cotton, graduated from BHS last spring and are successfully enrolled in college and are receiving the REACH Scholarship funds. She also expressed appreciation to the local sponsors for providing the funding and support of the REACH scholarships.

If anyone has any questions about REACH scholarships in Decatur County, or is interested in providing financial support for scholarships or travel expenses for the REACH students to visit colleges, please contact Kathy Varner, REACH Coordinator, at kvarner@dcboe.com