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VC Reach

For the 6th year, Vidalia City Schools has presented $50,000 of needs-based scholarships to five J.R. Trippe 8th graders. In a recent ceremony held at Vidalia High School, Zakyria Williams, Eion Ryals, Charlotte Powell, Lauren Hardnett, and Madisyn Corbett received $10,000 in REACH Scholarships to gain financial support upon graduation.  

"These scholarships provide financial support for these students when they graduate. But, it's just not financial support; they also provide academic, emotional, and social support as they move through High School," said J.R. Trippe Principal Eric McDonald. 

The program began in Georgia in 2012 and has had nearly 4300 students participate and has committed over 36 million in scholarships to students in 180 systems. 

One of the recipients is Madisyn Corbett, whose mother, Tonya Glasper, attended Vidalia High School said that she is not only excited about the scholarship but also that Madisyn will follow in her footsteps at VHS, "I feel like the person I am today is because of the staff and a lot of the people that I got to be around within the Vidalia City School System."

Glasper said that this shows Madisyn is concerned about her future and is working hard to make it happen. "I am very excited to know that she is already thinking about her future, and she's already set goals for herself, and she knows the standards that she needs to keep."

Financially, Glasper says that the $10,000 will free her daughter up when deciding upon which college she wants to attend upon graduation, "this frees her up knowing this is one less thing she will have to think about when she chooses a college to attend and one less amount that we will have to pay"

Trippe Assistant Principal Lee McCloud, who has taken over the reins of the REACH Program, said the future of these students is a bright one, "their future is bright. They received this award based on their performance in middle school, but they will only remain eligible if they continue to perform at a high level."

McCloud went on to say that the process of becoming a scholarship recipient was long and, at times, difficult. "These students have, demonstrated not only a financial need which is in compliance with the state for the scholarship. But then we go into their academics; They have to have a certain grade point average. Then, their attendance has to be at a certain level. And then their behavior is also a factor. And then they have to go through an interview process. And that interview process is done by not only educators but also by community leaders."

McCloud says that is what separated these five candidates from the field, "I would say what separated these five candidates from the rest was the interview process. They did a remarkable job!"

McCloud thanked the Community Leaders, which included Mayor Doug Roper, Rev. Luther Wardlaw, Natasha Farmer, Downtown Valley Association Director Tonya Parker, and Jarrell Craig. "I can't say enough good things about these leaders in our community. They jumped right on this project and really made the students feel comfortable. You know, for most of those students, that was their first time ever in an interview process. We will be forever grateful for the support of our community."

To be eligible for the REACH Georgia Program, a student must complete an application and an interview process from a panel in Vidalia that has no ties to the student. Other requirements include 

1) Currently a rising 8th grader at an eligible Georgia school in a participating district 

2) Demonstrate and provide proof of financial need 

3) Have proven legal status in the United States (U.S. Citizen or legal resident) 

4) Have good attendance and behavior 

5) Have grade reports reflecting at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average in core courses 

6) Have a crime and drug-free record 

7) Have demonstrated the support of a parent, legal guardian, or another caring adult Each student will have a mentor who will help guide them through their high school journey to ensure they stay on track.

Each student will have a mentor who will help guide them through their high school journey to ensure they stay on track.

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