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Gov. Deal kicks off REACH Scholarship program in Macon

On Tuesday, Gov. Nathan Deal and district leaders initiated the REACH (Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen) Scholarship program, which aims to help first-generation college students graduate / Perry Smith (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- At risk students in Macon-Bibb County have a new opportunity to succeed.

On Tuesday, Gov. Nathan Deal and district leaders initiated the REACH (Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen) Scholarship program, which aims to help first-generation college students graduate.

Bibb County Superintendent Dr. Curtis Jones Jr. said most students who drop out of school do so in the ninth grade, so the program starts in eighth grade to begin preparing students then.

Students involved in the program are required to maintain certain standards but have a substantial incentive.

"What this program does is if those students commit as early as the eighth grade to having a good GPA, discipline being a minimum issue and good attendance, then they qualify for a minimum of $10,000 scholarship," Jones said.

The program is part of Gov. Deal's push to help education.

There are 68 other counties in Georgia that participate.

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