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CMS announces 2022-2023 REACH Scholars

During the Cook County Board of Education regular session on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023, Cook Middle School Principal Rusty Meadows announced the 2022-2023 REACH Scholars.

REACH Scholars (L-R), Vinterria Brown, Payton Furman, Brielle Hodges, Bryan Quintana-Garcia, Desaray Santiago, and Will Staley. In back (L-R): Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tim Dixon, Lynn Connell, Dr. Mary Sue Ward, Jerry Connell, CMS Principal Rusty Meadows, Board of Education Chairman Corkey Taylor, and CMS Assistant Principal Johnny Beard.

These outstanding CMS students are:

• Vinterria Brown, daughter of Ricky and Frenchie Neloms.

• Payton Furman, daughter of Josef and Jessica Furman.

• Brielle Hodges, daughter of Sarah Young and Michael Irvin.

• Bryan Quintana-Garcia, son of Ismael Quintana and Marisol Garcia.

• Desaray Santiago, daughter of Daniel Santiago and Andrea Bonilla.

• Will Staley, son of William and Emilie Staley.

During the fall of this school term, students were nominated for the REACH program by Cook County faculty and staff. After receiving a nomination, 25 eighth graders were given applications that consisted of information from their parents, information about themselves, and information from a school member and a community member.

All nominees that completed their application participated in an interview with Dr. Mary Sue Ward and Jerry and Lynn Connell. 

At the conclusion of the REACH process, six REACH students were named. 

The Scholars, along with their parents, signed a letter required by the REACH coordinators with the information required of these students in order to receive the $10,000 scholarship while attending a Georgia college.

The REACH Scholars signed contracts and committed to satisfy the program requirements, graduate from high school, and enroll and complete college.

The Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen (REACH) Scholarship Program was launched by then-Governor Nathan Deal in 2012 and is a needs-based mentorship and scholarship program designed to encourage students, starting in middle school, to persist in their educational pursuits. Students are provided with the academic, social, and financial support needed to graduate from high school, access college, achieve post-secondary success, and be prepared for the 21st century workforce.

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