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Four Oconee County Schools students named Georgia REACH Scholars

Four Oconee County students and their parents haveREACH 2021 participated 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 third annual class of REACH Scholars and their tremendous accomplishment of receiving college scholarships while in middle school,” said Superintendent Jason L. Branch. “All four students are most deserving of this accomplishment, and I wish them all the best with continued success in middle and high school, as well as in post-secondary experiences.”


The district’s four 2021 REACH Scholars are:

Keyton Epps – Malcom Bridge Middle School

Olivia Evans – Malcom Bridge Middle School

Alfonso Ibarro-Ruiz – Oconee County Middle School

Laura Grace “Gracie” Meeler – Oconee County 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.


The group of sponsors for this year’s scholars are:

Athens Ford


Oconee State Bank

Peach State Federal Credit Union

Walton EMC


For more information, REACH Georgia, please visit