Five Carrollton Junior High School eighth-graders were presented a life-changing opportunity on Wednesday when they committed to participating in the REACH Georgia Scholars program with the support of their families, mentors, and community members.
This is the seventh year Carrollton City Schools has participated in the statewide initiative. Following a rigorous application process that begins in the seventh grade, five students who applied were selected for REACH, which stands for Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen.
Carrollton Junior High School Principal Travis Thomaston praised the 2021-2022 cohort for its perseverance.
“Having worked at Carrollton Elementary and Carrollton Upper Elementary School before serving as Carrollton Junior High School Principal, I have had the opportunity to get to know these students through the years,” said Thomaston. It is inspiring to see how they have grown.”
The REACH Scholars for 2020-2021 are Jaira Garcia, Dynasty Jones, Jessica Jones, Simranjeet Kaur and Emmanuel Mendez. In a ceremony held in the Trojan Hall of Fame room in the Whitley Morris Field House, the five students in this cohort were recognized individually and, with their parents, signed their commitment to focus on their academics and graduate high school. In return, thanks to state and local REACH partners, each will be awarded a $10,000 scholarship to a HOPE-eligible school in addition to other scholarships and financial aid they may earn.
Jason Sidel, CJHS counselor who administers the selection process, said it was challenging to narrow down the selection to the five students chosen.
“With so many students wanting to pursue post-secondary education, our selection committee had the difficult task of selecting only five scholars,” said Sidel. “The five scholars are exceptionally worthy of the recognition and honor. We are proud of the individuals receiving the scholarship today.”
Dr. Mark Albertus, superintendent, closed the ceremony with a promise to the students and their parents of the school system's commitment to see this REACH class achieve the same level of success.
“Congratulations, REACH Scholars, parents and guardians,” said Albertus. “I challenge each of you to set your goals high, work hard, and never give up because it is all within reach.”