UNITED NATIONAL BANK officers and staff presented a $3,000 donation to the REACH Georgia Scholarship program Tuesday. The bank’s contribution will insure that two Grady County eighth graders who qualify and commit to the requirements of the program will be awarded $10,000 scholarships upon graduating from Cairo High School. Grady County school superintendent Dr. Kermit Gilliard, center, accepted the donation. A total of $7,500 must be raised locally in order for five, eighth graders to be awarded REACH scholarships this fall. To contribute, or for more information, contact the superintendent at 229-377-3701.
United National Bank has kicked off a local effort to raise a $7,500 match for REACH Georgia scholarships by contributing $3,000 to the fund drive.
UNB officers and staff members presented Grady County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kermit Gilliard with the $3,000 donation Tuesday.
With each $1,500 match, a Grady County eighth grader will be eligible for a $10,000 scholarship to further his/her education upon completion of high school. The UNB donation guarantees that two local students will be awarded a REACH Scholarship this fall.
“I am very thankful for United National Bank’s continued support of Grady County Schools and the REACH Georgia Scholarship program. The bank’s contribution will change the lives of two deserving students and, hopefully, when they complete college, these students will be able to come back to Grady County to live and raise their families. I look forward to the partnership between United National and our REACH Scholarship program growing in the future,” Dr. Gilliard said.
“We are pleased to support this worthwhile effort. United National Bank was founded by local citizens as a locally owned bank to serve the needs of our community. We believe this donation is actually an investment in making our community a better place to live, work and raise a family. By supporting our youth and promoting higher education, we all benefit,” said UNB President and CEO Michael L. Chastain.
The first REACH Georgia scholarships were presented to five Grady County eighth graders in October 2017, but in order for another class of five to each receive the $10,000 scholarships this fall a $7,500 local match has to be raised.
The school system is facing an Aug. 15 deadline to raise the $7,500 required match in order for five eighth graders to be awarded scholarships this October. Dr. Gilliard says 100 percent of donations will support REACH scholarships.
REACH is a needs-based scholarship and mentoring program that begins in eighth grade. REACH Scholars are paired with a mentor and an academic coach who regularly meet with the scholar and monitor their grades, attendance and behavior through middle and high school. When REACH Scholars graduate from high school, they are awarded up to a $10,000 scholarship to attend a Georgia HOPE-eligible two or four-year college of their choice. Many of these colleges are matching or double-matching the scholarship to provide scholars additional resources.
“Many of the students who would be eligible for a REACH scholarship may be the very first in their families to attend college. We want to help as many of our students as possible,” the superintendent said.
According to Dr. Gilliard, the school system is already seeing improvements in scholastic achievement, attendance and social skills of the REACH scholars.
Donations may be made online at donate.reachgafoundation.org
or checks may be sent to Grady County School System Finance Officer Dan Broome, 122 North Broad Street, Cairo GA 39828. Checks should be made payable to the Grady County Board of Education with REACH Scholar written on the memo line.
If contributions are made online, make sure to select Grady County as the school district to receive the donation.
For more information on REACH Georgia, contact Dr. Gilliard by calling 229-377-3701.