October 24, 2020

Heard County celebrates first five REACH scholars

Pictured above are the five REACH Scholarship recipients (Front L-R): Leslie Allen, Beth Moreland, Daniel Burgos-Prado, Alora Cosper and Dixie Massey along with (Back L-R): State Representative Randy Nix, Superintendent Rodney Kay, a representative from the Georgia Finance Commission, and State Senator Matt Brass

(Franklin, GA) — Five Heard County eighth graders signed contracts Wednesday agreeing to get good grades and attendance, meet with academic coaches and mentors and to graduate from high school and pursue postsecondary education.

As their reward, the State of Georgia will provide them $10,000 ($2500 per year) toward four years of college or technical education.

REACH Georgia is a needs-based scholarship launched five years ago by Governor Nathan Deal.

REACH (Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen) 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.

The mission is to provide Georgia’s academically promising students with academic, social and financial support needed to graduate from high school and college prepared for work.

Governor Deal launched the REACH Scholarship on in 2012 at and announced the first corporate sponsor, AT&T, which donated $250,000. It was launched as a pilot program in three Georgia school systems.

REACH became Georgia’s first public-private needs-based scholarship opportunity. It is locally owned and operated allowing community members to have a stake in student success. 100% of funds raised go to the college scholarships.

For the upcoming 2017-2018 school year, REACH has a total of 103 school systems participating in the program and almost 1,200 Scholars.

With the Governor’s recommendation, the Georgia General Assembly approved $2.75 million in the FY18 budget to support the continued growth of the REACH program. Governor Deal’s goal is to have the REACH Program in all 180 school districts with a total of 2,800 Scholars by 2020.

The first five Class of 2022 Heard students selected for the prestigious honor were Leslie Allen, Daniel Burgos-Prado, Alora Cosper, Dixie Massie, and Beth Moreland.

State Representative Randy Nix and State Senator Matt Brass were on hand for the signings Wednesday.;

The contracts that each signed require them to maintain an overall 2.5  grade point average, have good attendance, have good behavior and remain drug and crime free, meet with assigned mentors and academic coaches on a weekly basis, graduate from high school, and participate in other REACH activities.

Once each student fulfills their requirements the trust will provide $2,500 for four years and provide the foundation of their college funding.

With additional HOPE scholarship, matching funds (sometimes at double and triple the REACH funding) from individual colleges and additional federal grants, each of these scholars should be able to attend college with all costs fully covered.

“This is an outstanding opportunity for our students and we are excited to offer them this chance at a post-secondary degree without any out-of-pocket expenses or necessary student loans,” says assistant school superintendent Marianne Cole. “We appreciate the support of our Board, Superintendent, and community as we start to implement this program in Heard County.”


  1. The Chemistry Teacher says

    Kudos! Good things do happen to good people.

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