Center Point is joining forces with the Gainesville City School system, Hall County Schools, and the state of Georgia to bring REACH Georgia to eight grade students in Hall County. REACH Georgia is the state’s first needs-based mentorship and college scholarship program. REACH identifies promising, but at risk, 8th graders and provides them with the academic, social and financial support needed to graduate from high school, access college, and achieve post-secondary success.
What is the REACH Program?
REACH Georgia is the state’s first needs-based mentorship and college scholarship program. REACH identifies promising, but at risk, 8th graders and provides them with the academic, social and financial support needed to graduate from high school, access college, and achieve post-secondary success.
The Gainesville City School system is partnering with Hall County’s Schools to identify thirteen 8th graders each year (5 from Gainesville Middle School, 8 from Hall County Middle Schools) who will be provided with:
- A mentor from 8th-12th grade,
- An academic coach from 8th-12th grade,
- Enrichment opportunities, such as college visits, job shadowing and internship opportunities and other experiences that will broaden their horizons and prepare them for future success.
- A $10,000 scholarship to any Georgia university or technical school upon high school graduation.
REACH started in some school systems five years ago, so that group of students just graduated high school. Of the 8th graders selected 5 years ago, 100% of them graduated from high school and 100% are beginning their post-secondary education this fall.
How is a Student Eligible?
The REACH program was first introduced to Hall County in 2016. Students are chosen in April for Hall County Schools and in late August for Gainesville City Schools. Students are selected for this program based on the following criteria:
- Nominated by teachers/counselors – can also receive recommendations from parents
- Submit an application
- Selected by panel of community and academic personnel from local schools
- Chosen by personality and drive (potential, not grades)
How is Center Point Involved?
Center Point is involved with REACH Georgia by training and recruiting mentors for the students selected for this program. Marie Davis, Director of Mentoring at Center Point, recruited the mentors who serve in these roles.
Center Point has great mentor training. REACH requires mentors to meet with students 8 times per semester and mentor them in topics of inspiration and well-being. Many Center Point mentors meet once per week. REACH Mentors are trained with REACH mentor training and Hall County/Gainesville mentor training (more specialized). Mentors include teachers, ex teachers, professionals. Mentors are matched with students of the same gender, and range in age from mid-twenties to retired individuals. Center Point mentors work with local these kids to give them confidence to be successful.
“I see it as a great thing for the kids and to get other companies involved (300 manufacturers) to donate. Companies get state-wide recognition for this. REACH is a state-wide program. REACH day – representatives go to State Capitol to meet the governor. Gainesville is now on the map.” -Marie Davis, Director of Mentoring at Center Point
How Can You Help?
Of each Gainesville / Hall Co. student’s $10,000 scholarship, the state of Georgia and private donations provide $6,500. The remaining $3,500 per student must be raised by our local community. Our business community has already stepped up to lead the fundraising effort.
But we need this to be a community-wide effort. If 300 individuals will give $25, that will raise $7,500 of the $45,500 needed to fund these thirteen scholarships. When added to the money the business community is raising, I think that would put us over the top. Any money raised above the $45,500 needed for this year’s scholars will be held over to help fund scholarships for next year’s thirteen recipients.
Please consider going to this link and contributing $25 (or more) – http://tinyurl.com/HallGCSSREACH.
When you go to the link, under “Donation Information” go to the drop down menu for “Designation” and choose REACH Scholars Gainesville-Hall Fund.
If you’d like to learn more about REACH, please visit www.reachga.org. Thank you in advance for any support you can provide!