Coweta County Schools

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Contact: Dean Jackson Office of Public Information
Phone: 770.254.2736
Fax: 770.254.2807

October 19, 2017

Two 2017 REACH Scholars honored, sign commitments, at ceremony

Joined by school family members, community dignitaries and school officials, two Coweta County School System students became the newest Coweta recipients of the Georgia REACH Scholarship on October 10.

Kanaya Williams – from Smokey Road Middle School – and Malachi Bowen – of East Coweta Middle School - signed commitments during a ceremony at the Nixon Centre pledging to maintain good student records and graduate from high school. When they do, they are eligible for a $10,000 scholarship toward attending a Georgia HOPE Scholarship-eligible college or university.

They join 4 other REACH scholars who have been named since the scholarship program was launched in Coweta County in 2015, funded by local donors and the state of Georgia. Desiree Herrera, Tamaiya Stafford and Myles Bridges, now at East Coweta High School, and Esmerelda Medorio Rivera, now at Newnan High School, were named REACH scholars in 2015 and 2016.

“Today is a time to celebrate not only the accomplishments of these students, but what is to come,” said Coweta County Superintendent Steve Barker, who presided over the signing ceremony. Barker thanked many donors and program supporters in attendance for making student success a priority, and added that the REACH program “is an effort to change lives.”

REACH is a needs-based mentoring and scholarship program started in 2012 by Governor Nathan Deal, as a part of his Complete College Georgia initiative. REACH is designed to ensure that academically promising students have the academic, social, and financial support needed to graduate from high school and complete college.

In Coweta County, local donors Bob and Millie Coggin, Steve and Marie Swope, and the Edgar B. Hollis Foundation combine funding with state funds provided through the Georgia Student Finance Commission for the scholarships. It affords REACH scholars who successfully meet all requirements through graduation with a $10,000 scholarship which is often matched or even double-matching by the colleges or universities the students attend.

Communities in Schools, the Patrons of the Centre and several community members also work to support the ongoing program.

Willaims’ mother Carla Grady and other family and community members attended with her as they signed and took an oath to meet the requirements of the scholarship. Bowen’s parents Denny and Jason Bowen and other family members and supporters attended as he signed the pledge as well.

Both students are also paired with mentors who will help them succeed as they start high school and begin work towards graduation next year. The students’ current middle school and upcoming high school principals also attended.

Speaking about student Williams, Smokey Road Principal Kiefer Triplett relayed that she did not believe she would receive this year’s scholarship, even as she persevered through the application and interview process with community members. “I hope this is the final piece of the puzzle for you… that you can do anything you want in your life,” he told her.

Cowetan Mitch Seabaugh represented the Georgia Student Finance Commission at the ceremony, and noted that 103 Georgia school districts participated in the REACH program as of this year, with over 1,100 scholars now working towards graduation.

2017 REACH Scholars

Smokey Road Middle School 8th grader Kanaya Williams and East Coweta Middle School 8th grader Malachi Bowen became the newest Coweta County REACH Scholars at a ceremony on October 10.

2017 REACH Scholars 2

Coweta County Assistant Superintendent Marc Guy recognizes Coweta’s newest REACH Scholars - Malachi Bowen and Kanaya Williams – at the Nixon Centre.

2015-17 REACH Scholars 3

Coweta County School System has inducted 6 REACH Scholars since with the addition of two this year. They are, left to right, Esmerelda Medorio-Rivera, Tamaiya Stafford, Kanaya Williams, Malachi Bowen, Myles Bridges, and Desiree Herrera.