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Gainesville REACH scholars honored
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In the front row, from left, are 2017 REACH scholars Jonathan Velasquez, Abigail Goss, Cristian Reyes, Naomi Reese and Gemima Ntekawa Deko. In the second row are school board members Sammy Smith, John Filson, Willie Mitchell, Brett Mercer, Delores Diaz and Superintendent Jeremy Williams.

The Gainesville City School System honored its second class of REACH Georgia scholars last week during a signing ceremony at the Public Safety Complex on Queen City Parkway.

Five Gainesville Middle School students signed “contracts” committing them to the Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen program requirements.

Gemima Ntekawa Deko, Abigail Goss, Naomi Reese, Cristian Reyes and Jonathan Velasquez pledged to maintain strong grades, behavior and attendance. Upon completion of high school and meeting certain criteria, program graduates will be awarded a $10,000 scholarship to a Georgia college or post-secondary institution of their choice. The contract requires a 2.5 grade-point average, exceptional attendance and being drug-free.

School district officials expressed thanks to those who provided financial contributions to the Gainesville-Hall County REACH scholarship fund through the North Georgia Community Foundation.

Until high school graduation, these students will be supported by mentors and academic coaches to achieve their dreams of attending college.

When the REACH Georgia Scholarship program launched in 2012, Gov. Nathan Deal said it “rewards students for self-accountability, promotes parent involvement and provides motivation and support; all factors that we know are critical in student educational achievement.”

Today, REACH serves 103 school systems across Georgia and nearly 1,200 scholars, committing more than $17 million in scholarships.

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