What’s Right With Our Schools: REACH Program at Lakeview Middle School

ROSSVILLE, GA (WDEF) – A College Education is getting more expensive every year. In Georgia, the REACH program combines local sponsors with state funds to give 8th graders a head start on their tuition.

Denia Reese is the Superintendent for Catoosa County Public Schools.

She explains,”The REACH Scholarship Program is funded by the Georgia finance commission. It was started by governor Nathan Deal to promote college to students who perhaps didn’t think they had an opportunity to go to college.

Vince Phillips is the Principal Lakeview Middle School.

When asked about the pair of scholarship winners from his school he said, “These two individuals never have a bad day. They always have a smile on their face. They love coming to school that’s the impression I get from them, but they just work hard, and they just take in the whole experience. So, it’s special for me, today.”

Memphis Blankenship, and 8th grader is one of those recipients.

He said, “I was nervous but really happy and excited.”

Michaela Hammontree is the other recipient.

She says, “Oh, it was mind-blowing. I didn’t expect getting it, but i was very proud glad that i did.”

Superintendent Reese adds, “These are academically promising eighth graders that are chosen. We find sponsors within our community. Our sponsors commit to three thousand dollars. The Georgia finance commission matches their donation so that we’re able to choose five students in Catoosa county who receive a ten thousand dollar scholarship to attend a Georgia HOPE eligible university.”

Looking ahead, Memphis says, “I want to be a neurosurgeon. I don’t really know what college yet, but I have a few years to find that out.”

Michaela chips in, “I have five siblings, four siblings, five including me. So, it’s really good because they’ll have to pay for all of us to go to college, and it’s good that I’m good.”

Superintendent Reese concludes, “We identify these students who are academically promising students. It really does help our community. We know that these students will come back to us, and we want them to be productive citizens inside our community, and we’re making an actual contribution to society.”



Categories: Catoosa County, Education, Local News, What’s Right With Our Schools