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DCJHS holds signing ceremony for 2022-23 REACH scholars
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Dawson County Junior High School principal Brody Hughes stands with four of the district’s five 2022-23 REACH scholars during the REACH signing ceremony on Oct. 28. - photo by Erica Jones

On Friday Oct. 28, Dawson County Junior High School hosted a signing ceremony for the school’s five 2022-23 REACH scholars. 

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Dawson County Schools’ 2022-23 REACH scholars and their guardians sign contracts committing to the scholarship program during the REACH signing ceremony on Oct. 28. - photo by Erica Jones

The REACH program, which stands for “Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen”, is a needs-based mentorship and scholarship program that aims at helping academically promising students achieve their educational goals. Beginning in middle school, REACH scholars are provided with the financial, academic and social support they need to graduate from high school and have access to college.

This year’s REACH scholars are Angie Almazan, Cassandra Logan, Karen Miranda-Cruz, Jace Orr and Lexi Wells. This year’s group marked the eighth cohort of REACH scholars to come from DCJHS. The REACH scholars and their families attended the signing ceremony, listening to remarks and encouragement from school administrators.

During the signing ceremony, each of the students introduced themselves and their family members who were there with them, thanking the administrators and expressing their thankfulness to be in the REACH scholarship program. 

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Dawson County Schools administrators stand with the 2022-23 REACH scholars and their guardians during the REACH signing ceremony on Oct. 28. - photo by Erica Jones

To become REACH scholars, the five students were nominated by their teachers or administrators, completed applications and interviewed in front of a panel before being selected to represent Dawson County. Through the REACH program, they will have the potential to earn up to $10,000 in scholarship money to be used at any Georgia, HOPE-eligible institution.

REACH scholars must commit to maintaining good behavior, attendance and high academic stands through both junior and high school in order to remain eligible for the REACH scholarship upon graduation. 

During the signing ceremony, REACH coordinator Nathan Hand explained what the REACH program is and commended the students on their hard work to become REACH scholars. 

“We are super excited about this cohort; we know they are going to be successful, as they have been, in going forward all the way through graduation and beyond,” Hand said. “Ideally, we’d like to see you be successful, go off to college, graduate and then come back and contribute to Dawson County as adults.” 

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Superintendent Nicole LeCave speaks during the REACH signing ceremony on Oct. 28. - photo by Erica Jones

Dawson County Schools Superintendent Nicole LeCave also spoke during the signing ceremony, congratulating the students on being selected to represent Dawson County in the REACH program and encouraging them to uphold their goal throughout the rest of their school experience. 

“I really cannot think of a better way for the school district to partner with our families to support our students than to provide them a focused way to plan for their future and a financial jumpstart for them to go to college if that’s what they choose to do when they graduate,” LeCave said. “I want to tell our students how very very proud we are of you for making this decision and committing in this way for a very bright future.” 

At the end of the ceremony, all of the scholars and their guardians signed contracts committing to satisfying the requirements of the REACH program and graduating high school.