October 22-- Twelve eighth grade students from the Toombs and Vidalia school systems have a better chance of going to college after being selected for REACH Georgia, the state's needs-based mentorship and college scholarship program.
Six students each from Vidalia's J.R. Trippe Middle School and Toombs County Middle School were inducted Tuesday during ceremonies presided over by Toombs County School Superintendent Barry Waller. "This scholarship for when they graduate high school, if they maintain certain parameters. will give them the opportunity to further their education whether it be to a technical college or a four-year university."
The $10,000 scholarships are sometimes matched by participating schools, multiplying the value for the students, "Some universities will do that. I think the University of Georgia is up to $30,000," Waller said.
This is the third year the program has been underway in the two school systems and Vidalia School Superintendent Dr. Garrett Wilcox believes it motivates students to maintain good grades, behavior and attendance, "I think as they move through the educational process you'll find the first group we had who are now sophomores find it a big motivator," as well as their parents, "I'm not sure who was the most excited today,t he parents who were there or the students."
The six students from Toombs County Middle School are Martasia Burton, Raymond Florez, IV., Tami Gonzalez, Lola Hall, Cloey Sanders and Breanna Vallejo.
The "REACH" students from J.R. Trippe MIddle School are Antonio Aguilar, J'Da Bacon, Desarae Lumley, Kynzyerra McGee, Adelyn Williams and Paradyse Jacobs.