R.E.A.C.H. students sign scholarship

Published 9:48 am Wednesday, November 24, 2021

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Five Decatur County Schools students were awarded REACH scholarships valued at $10,000 during a signing ceremony held at Bainbridge High School today. The scholars for 2021-2022 are Angelica DeJesus, Ja’Kharia Howard, Kaden Smith, Brianna Edwards and Angel Bonilla-Ortiz.

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 7th grade and must compete for the scholarship through application and interviews in the fall of 8th grade.

After successfully graduating with good grades, behavior and attendance, REACH scholars will receive the scholarship to be used at Georgia two year, four year, or technical colleges . A portion of the scholarships must be collected within the local 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.

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The five scholars who signed a commitment today join nineteen REACH scholars at Bainbridge High School and will be assigned an academic coach and mentor until graduation. Decatur County Schools has participated in the program for seven years. Kathy Varner, REACH Coordinator, reports that five REACH scholars have successfully graduated from BHS, are successfully enrolled in college, and receive the REACH Scholarship funds. She also expressed appreciation to the local sponsors for providing the funding and support of the REACH scholarships. If you have any questions about REACH scholarships in Decatur County, or are 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.