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October 4--  Ten eighth graders and their parents signed agreements Wednesday designed to get each student a $10,000 college scholarship.

REACH Georgia is a state program aimed at increasing the number of students who pursue post-secondary education in the state.

At a signing ceremony Tuesday hosted by Toombs County High School, five students selected from Toombs County Middle School and five from J.R. Trippe Middle School promised to maintain good grades, behavior and attendance until they graduate in the Class of 2022.

tcmsreachToombs County signees (L-R) are Student: Kodie Cortez, Parent: Chassidy Clements, Student: Esmerelda Medel, Parents: Silvestre Medel-Hernandez and Teresa Avila, Student: Marlana Ramsey, Parent: Christy Ramsey, Student: Adrianna Williams, Parent/Guardian:Paula Montgomery, Student: David Copeland, Parents: Paul and Judy Copeland 

Kodie Cortez is from Toombs County Middle School, "It means a lot to me because I always wanted to go to college.  I just have to get my grades up and I can do better things and go anywhere I can.  My mom has always told me I need to go to college and I want to go to get everything better," he said.

Kodie's mom is Chassidy Clements, "It's a huge relief.  I've always pushed him to go to college and this just paves the way for him to make it now.  Also, it's going to be something good for the community because it improves the kind of citizens they can be when they get out in the real world," she said.

jrtreachJ.R. Trippe signees (sitting, L-R) are Naquaven Atkins, Darionna May, Azayvion Wallace, David Thigpen and Kaitlyn Allen. (Standing, L-R) Bruce Asberry, Danielle Heggs, Ginger Morris, Doug Roper, Rebecca Thigpen, Lucy Claroni, Kenneth and Christy Allen.

One of the five from J.R. Trippe Middle School is Naquaven Atkins from Vidalia, "I think it's a great opportunity for me to get involved in a new life and go on the right road to education and make something out of myself.  I've got to keep my grades up, stay in school and stay positive," he said.

Parents also signed the REACH agreement and Dr. Sandy Reid, principal at J.R. Trippe, says their support is critical to their student's success, "We depend on them to support the students and to support the school. They are only going to meet the requirements of their four-year commitment if they have the support of their parents," she observed.

Toombs County School Superintendent Richard Smith is excited and says, "I think it's a big day for our community.  We are able to take ten students and give them an opportunity to advance their education beyond high school, allow them to become citizens who can add to our community, get into leadership in our community and give them opportunities they would not have otherwise had."