Gov. Nathan Deal and First Lady Sandra Deal today welcomed 109 middle school students and 14 high school students throughout Georgia to the Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen (REACH) Georgia program, a needs-based scholarship launched by the governor in 2012 and designed to promote academic success and expand access to higher education.
“This program is a strategic investment in our students and our state, opening doors for youth in Georgia who may not have the opportunity to seek postsecondary education due to financial constraints,” said Deal. “The scholars who signed contracts today have demonstrated dedication to their educational achievement, and I encourage them to continue working hard so they can find success in college and become part of Georgia’s top-ranked workforce.”
The scholars, representing 23 school systems across the state, signed contracts for the 2014-2015 school year. These contracts require students to maintain a certain grade point average, remain crime, drug, and behavior issue free and meet with a volunteer mentor until they graduate from high school. Their parents or guardians also signed contracts to support their student through their education. When these 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. Many colleges are matching this scholarship and some are double matching the scholarship, providing scholars additional resources for their college education.
REACH Georgia is a key component of the governor’s Complete College Georgia initiative, which calls for and identifies strategies for the state’s public and private colleges to add an additional 250,000 college graduates by 2020 and ensure these students graduate with relevant postsecondary degrees in a timely manner.
“The University System of Georgia, the Technical College System of Georgia and our colleagues in Georgia’s independent colleges are already working tirelessly to meet the college completion goals set by Governor Deal,” said University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby. “Together we are committed to educating and training both the workforce and citizenship needs of future generations.”
School systems added in the 2014-2015 school year include: Atlanta Public Schools, Ben Hill County Schools, Calhoun City Schools, Cartersville City Schools, Clarke County Schools, Coffee County Schools, Decatur City Schools, DeKalb County Schools, Dublin City Schools, Forsyth County Schools, Fulton County Schools, Madison County Schools, Marietta City Schools, Laurens County Schools, Peach County Schools, Turner County Schools, Twiggs County Schools and Warren County Schools. School systems that participated in the two-year pilot phase and are also participating in the 2014-2015 school year include: Rabun, Dodge, Douglas, Quitman and Bulloch County Schools.