FORSYTH COUNTY — Eight Forsyth County middle school students recently were awarded a scholarship contingent upon good grades and their time in high school.
The students were welcomed to a signing ceremony Wednesday at the Forsyth County Board of Education’s offices to begin the process of becoming a REACH Scholar.
Taylor Andronica, Kathryn Bauer, Tristen Brooks, Ann Davis, Bailey Ferraro, Erika Guerrero, Madison Martin and Olivia Roberts were joined by their families, principals, school district officials, elected officials and business and community leaders.
REACH Georgia is a statewide program that includes Forsyth and 40 other participating counties. It begins with teachers and counselors nominating eighth-graders who have demonstrated academic promise and good attendance and behavior, according to Hannah Orr, communications and partnerships facilitator for Forsyth County Schools.
The students had to apply and provide three references as part of the application process before going through interviews.
Each student and his or her parents signed a contract Wednesday, agreeing to keep at least a 2.5 grade-point average in core courses have good behavior and attendance through the rest of middle and high school.
They must also agree to meet with an assigned mentor at least twice a month and an academic coach monthly. Participants must attend REACH activities throughout the school year.
By signing the contact, the eight students committed to graduating high school and attending college.
Once at college, they will receive a “significant scholarship” through the REACH program and community donors, with the potential for matching funds from several Georgia universities.
Georgia’s REACH program is intended to be locally owned and operated, Orr said.
The local community is supporting the scholars to ensure they are improving grades, attendance and behavior and are given college and career preparation.
They — the Bagwell family, Cindy Jones Mills, Forte Data Systems Inc., Toyota and United Way of Forsyth County — also are providing a portion of the funds needed for this year’s REACH scholars.