Sumter Schools REACH Georgia Scholars recognized in ceremony

Published 3:07 pm Saturday, December 1, 2018

AMERICUS — Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen (REACH) is Georgia’s first public-private, needs-based scholarship opportunity. It was launched in 2012 by Governor Nathan Deal as a part of the Complete College Georgia Initiative. REACH 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 post-secondary success, and be prepared for the 21st Century workforce.
Prospective students completed a lengthy application for the REACH Georgia scholarship program. The application was comprised of a series of short-answer questions about future education/career plans, and students had to provide two references — one academic reference from a teacher or school employee, and one community reference from a pastor, coach, or family friend. Prospective REACH scholars then went before an interview panel that included Sumter County Schools Board member, Edith Green and Americus Sumter High School counselors —Sandra Wolcott and Kim Merritt.
Selection criteria was based on the students’ demonstration of academic promise with respect to his or her grades, attendance, and behavior. Students will need to maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average throughout their middle and high school career to receive the scholarship. The students and their parents will also be required to attend school-sponsored activities that incorporate future educational/career plans such as college campus tours and outreach activities. The REACH Georgia Scholarship also motivates REACH Scholars by providing mentoring and coaching throughout their school career and beyond.
Recently, Sumter County Schools recognized four eighth-grade students from Sumter County Middle School as 2018-2019 REACH Georgia Scholars. Paris Eberhardt, Rebecca Lane, Markala Sanders, and Kyra Volley will each receive a $10,000 scholarship upon successfully graduating from high school. Sumter County Schools Superintendent, Torrance Choates, Ed.D., commended the students for their hard work and achievements and also encouraged the students to “reach for the moon and beyond.” SCS district employees, Katie Minich, Georgia Student Finance Commission Outreach representative, parents, and other community members showed their support at the signing ceremony as well. The students and their parents signed a Commitment Pledge to honor their commitment to meeting the expectations and requirements of the scholarship program.