PHOTO: (from left) Julie Smith, VP of External Affairs, Southeast region at Verizon; Jackie Coleman, REACH Director; Timothy Connell, President of Georgia Student Finance Commission; A. Middleton Ramsey, Board Chairman of Georgia Student Finance Commission and Executive VP and Senior Lending Officer of Athens First Bank and Trust Company.
Privately funded scholarship foundation aids high-achieving students from low-income families
Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that Verizon has contributed $20,000 to support the REACH Georgia Scholarship Program while law firm King & Spalding pledged $10,000 to support the program over a four-year period.
“This needs-based scholarship program is part of our state’s commitment to ensure that all Georgians can access higher education, regardless of their income bracket,” Deal said.
"Gov. Deal's needs-based scholarship program aligns with Verizon’s goal to prepare students for success in the 21st century," said vice president of Verizon Michelle Robinson. "We support this effort because ensuring that students gain access to a college education creates opportunities for individual achievement and a brighter future for our state.”
REACH (Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen) is part of Deal’s “Complete College Georgia” initiative, launched in August 2011. The REACH Georgia Program works with local school districts to identify students and award scholarships. Scholars are selected in middle school and make a formal commitment to maintain good grades, remain free of crime, drugs and behavior issues and meet with a volunteer mentor until they graduate from high school. Scholars’ parents or guardians also commit to supporting their student through their education. Students meeting the requirements will receive a renewable yearly tuition scholarship of $2,500 to be used at any HOPE-eligible institution.
REACH Georgia is a privately funded mentorship and scholarship program that ensures that academically promising, low-income students receive the comprehensive support needed to access and complete college. And with more than 60 Georgia public and private universities and colleges partnering with REACH, most of which have agreed to match or double-match the scholarship award, postsecondary education is even more of a reality for these deserving students.
“The leadership and initiative demonstrated by AT&T, Verizon and King & Spalding will not only help Georgia’s young people attain a world-class education, but it will also ensure an even brighter future for our state,” said Deal. “My hope is that other companies and citizens across Georgia will note this leadership, join in the effort, and continue to expand the scope and promise of the REACH scholarship for our students.”
The REACH Georgia Program is a private-public partnership that is funded with private dollars. REACH is part of a 501(c)3 tax-exempt foundation and is administered by the Georgia Student Finance Commission, the state agency that provides financial aid to help Georgia students access higher education.
More information on the REACH Georgia program is available at www.reachga.org