REACH Scholars

The 2019 REACH Scholars signed pledges to maintain academic and citizenship goals during a signing ceremony Oct. 23. Attending the ceremony were, from left, Fulton School Superintendent Mike Looney, Fulton School Board members Julia Bernath and Linda Bryant, Gabriella Horton (Sandy Springs Middle School), Itzel Acevedo’s-Pena (Holcomb Bridge Middle School), Tiffany Laij (Taylor Road Middle School), Theresa Lopez (Renaissance Middle School), Belen Montalvo Vedia (Elkins Pointe Middle School), Ivanna Rojas (Hopewell Middle School), Sheridan Cruz (Bear Creek Middle School), Daniel Williams (Woodland Middle School), Fulton School Board members Katie Reeves and Gail Dean.

Nine middle school students were recently selected to join an elite group of Fulton County students designated as REACH scholars eligible for a $10,000 college scholarship upon graduation.

REACH, which stands for “Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen,” is a statewide initiative founded by former Gov. Nathan Deal in 2012 to boost the number of students attending college. 

Among the nine Fulton students selected this year were four 8th graders from North Fulton middle schools: Itzel Acevedo-Pena from Holcomb Bridge Middle School,  Tiffany Laij from Taylor Road Middle School, Belen Montalvo Vedia of Elkins Pointe Middle School and  Ivanna Rojas of Hopewell Middle School

During a signing ceremony on Oct. 23 alongside their parents, the REACH scholars signed a pledge to maintain a “C” average, have good attendance and good behavior, graduate from high school with a diploma and enroll in a Georgia HOPE-eligible post-secondary institution.

In return, they will receive a $10,000 scholarship, and a foundation of academics and achievement that will serve them well in college.

“REACH not only helps our students graduate from high school, but gives them the tools to complete college and return to our community and join our workforce,” Cliff Jones, chief of academics, said, “We are excited today for all of our students and for their promising futures.”

The Fulton School System began participating in the REACH program in 2014, and now includes 45 scholars selected over the past five years. Of those, 17 attend schools in North Fulton. 

Fulton’s REACH scholarship program is sponsored by the Fulton Education Foundation, along with the REACH Georgia program. 

Statewide, the REACH program has grown from five participating school districts in 2012 to 154 school districts in 2019. It is on track to reach the program’s goal of all 180 Georgia school systems participating by next year.

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