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Gov. Nathan Deal and First Lady Sandra Deal today welcomed 109 middle school students and 14 high school students throughout Georgia to the Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen (REACH) Georgia program, a needs-based scholarship launched by the governor in 2012 and designed to promote academic success and expand access to higher education.

The scholars, representing 23 school systems across the state, signed contracts for the 2014-2015 school year. These contracts require students to maintain a certain grade point average, remain crime, drug, and behavior issue free and meet with a volunteer mentor until they graduate from high school. Their parents or guardians also signed contracts to support their student through their education. When these scholars graduate from high school, they will receive up to a $10,000 scholarship — $2,500 each year for up to four years — to be used at a HOPE eligible Georgia two or four-year college. Many colleges are matching this scholarship and some are double matching the scholarship, providing scholars additional resources for their college education.