Three young ladies from Langston Chapel Middle School landed a spot in the REACH Scholar Program this year after sitting before an interview panel to discuss their academic successes and future goals. The middle school also had the most award recipients in the school district for the 2019-20 school year.
REACH Georgia is a needs-based mentoring and scholarship program providing promising students the support to graduate from high school and achieve postsecondary success. REACH Scholars, which are chosen in 8th grade, will be awarded a financial scholarship upon graduating from high school after five years of mentoring and academic coaching.
Arumy Venegas, daughter of Monica and Mario Venegas, Emily Xochiale, daughter of Beatriz and Femin Xochicale, and Catherine Garcia, daughter of Veronica and Domingo Garica, were each selected for the program for the 2019-20 school year.
Arumy said she applied for the REACH Scholar program because she believes it will help her do what she wants to do – become a criminal defense attorney. Right now, she plays volleyball – which she enjoys because of the competition and visits to other schools – and is in the gifted program (QUEST), but her favorite class is Georgia Studies because she loves learning about history and the past. Arumy says her dad is her role model because ‘he had a rough childhood and has come a long way. He is a really hard worker that always makes it.’
Emily applied for the program so she can ‘be someone in life,’ specifically, a labor & delivery nurse. Emily is also in the QUEST gifted program and she plays the flute in the band, in which she’s competed in honor bands and All State band. In January, she hopes to again participate in the engineering program. Like Arumy, Emily’s favorite subject is also Georgia Studies because she enjoys learning about the state. Emily looks up to her cousin, Hector, as her role model, who came to the United States at age 3, and has been working hard after graduating from college. ‘That’s inspiring because he came from another country to this one to have a great life,’ Emily said.
Catherine says that, even as an 8th grader, she knows how expensive college can be and the scholarship will help her offset debt she’ll take on when she becomes a pediatrician. Catherine is a lover of math because she’s good at problem solving and, in the end, ‘there’s always just one answer.’ Her favorite thing about her school is the teachers because they’re so caring and understanding of what students need. Catherine says she is not only thankful for her mom, but she’s also her role model. “She’s always there for us,’ she shared. ‘24/7, drives us, helps us, anytime we need anything.”
All three students remarked that Mrs. Abigail Foy, a Georgia Studies teacher at Langston Chapel Middle School, has had the biggest impact on them because she’s helpful, trustworthy, and willing to help as much as students need when someone doesn’t understand.
When asked what traits are needed to be successful students, Emily noted that good academic scores and paying attention in class are tied for No. 1 while Catherine said you always have to be willing to give your best effort. Arumy said successful students work hard all the time. They still have a ways to go with 8th grade, but all three have their eyes on high school where they’re looking forward to more programs, marching band, and new friends.
Each scholar is assigned a mentor for the school year who will be responsible for coaching the scholar, offering advice, and ensuring the student stays on track – by keeping grades up and staying out of trouble – to maintain the scholarship for the full five years.
Students who complete the program requirements will receive a scholarship of up to $10,000 ($2,500 per year maximum) to be used towards the cost of attendance at a University System of Georgia (USG), Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), or eligible private postsecondary institution.
You can learn more about the REACH Scholarship here.