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Clarke Co. middle-schoolers accepted into prestigious scholarship and mentoring program

Seven Clarke County School District 8th-grade students have earned recognition as REACH Scholars for 2020-21.

REACH Georgia (Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen) is a needs-based mentoring and scholarship program providing students a framework of support (educational and financial) to aid their successful journey through high school and college.

The students are Cemya Stone and Zoey Brown (Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle), Ja'Niya Elder (Clarke Middle), Angie Umana and Tira Willis (Coile Middle), Trista Johnson and Cameron Williams (Hilsman Middle), BHL's Stone achieved the school district's Top Score.

"The REACH Scholar program offers students the academic and social-emotional support to ensure their success," said Tessa Barbazon, the school district's director of school counseling and the REACH scholarship coordinator. "These students and their families are rewarded for their commitment and hard work. Even better, a majority of Georgia colleges match or double-match this scholarship, making college financially possible."

Students were selected through an extensive application and interview process. REACH Scholars must maintain good attendance, behavior, and at least a 2.5-grade point average throughout middle and high school. Students who complete the program are awarded a $10,000 scholarship to any HOPE-eligible institution in Georgia.

Each middle school hosted a REACH signing ceremony-much like athletic commitment ceremonies where students and their families signed a "contract" agreeing to satisfy the program requirements.

For more information about REACH Georgia visit

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