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OCS names four REACH Scholars

Four Oconee County students and their parents recently participated REACH 2020 in individualized signing ceremonies for each student to officially become a REACH Scholar. The students will each receive a $10,000 post-secondary scholarship as part of a public/private partnership between the State of Georgia and the Oconee community.


“Oconee County Schools is proud to honor our second annual class of REACH Scholars,” said Superintendent Jason L. Branch. “I commend all of our scholars for their hard work and success. The accomplishment of receiving scholarships while in middle school is an impressive feat. All four students are most deserving, and I wish them much continued success throughout their K-12 and post-secondary experiences."


The district’s four 2020 REACH Scholars are:

  • Jennifer Hernandez-Taboada – Malcom Bridge Middle School
  • Shel’be Johnson – Oconee County Middle School
  • Brenda Rios – Oconee County Middle School
  • Ian Rogers – Malcom Bridge Middle School

The REACH Georgia program is a needs-based scholarship designed to promote academic success and expand access to higher education. As a part of the program, students signed contracts to maintain a certain grade point average and to also meet with a volunteer mentor and academic coach until they graduate from high school. Parents or guardians signed contracts to support their child through this process. 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.


The REACH Scholarship program is a public/private partnership with some of the funding from the state level, while the remainder is contributed by local communities. Oconee County Schools is seeking additional business partners for the program. If interested, please contact REACH Coordinator Beth Parks at or at 706.769.5130, ext. 1336.


Current partners are:

  • Akins Ford
  • Ameriprise Financial
  • BankSouth
  • Four Seasons Lawn Maintenance
  • Fox’s Pizza Den
  • Georgia Farm Bureau
  • Georgia Power
  • Oconee State Bank
  • Peach State Federal Credit Union
  • Walton EMC


For more information, REACH Georgia, please visit