Alexis Robinson – Clarke Middle School: Alexis believes in working hard and not giving up on dreams. When faced with failure she finds the resolve to succeed. She put that mindset into action after not making the school basketball team. “From that experience, I learned to practice more, try my best and never give up,” she said. That competitive spirit is fostered by her academically successful siblings. Alexis said, “My siblings inspire me because they let me know that I can’t be the only child not to attend college. I also admire them because they push forward even through hard times, and that inspires me to keep pushing forward too.” With hopes of becoming a pediatrician, Alexis said the REACH Scholarship will do more than just help pay for college. “It would also encourage me to keep my grades up and to be the best the person I can be for myself, my family and my community.”
Noeli Loya-Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle School: Noeli said her biggest disappointment, so far, in life was falling off the straight A honor roll. She got one B and a valuable life lesson. “I learned that not every time are you going to get the same result as the last. I also learned that you have to maintain focus,” she stated. Noeli has expressed a desire to study Environmental Science and contribute to saving the planet. She would also like to serve in the military. She said, “I care about future generations and it’s our responsibility to leave the world better than we found it.” At school she serves as a member of the student council. Noeli also plays soccer and volleyball. One of her proudest moments was being nominated for the REACH Georgia Scholarship. The $10,000 will be a “tremendous” help towards realizing her educational dreams and take a financial burden off her parents, who work day and night to provide for her family.
Genesis Mendoza-Hilsman Middle School: Genesis attracts academic honors like a magnet attracts metal. She has been recognized for the following: A Honor Roll, A/B Honor Roll, Best All Around Student, Science Fair Participant, Certificate of Excellence, Rising Star, Shining Star, Citizenship Award, and Super Recycler. That’s not bad for a student who was held back in kindergarten. The child of migrant workers, constant moving left young Genesis unprepared to meet the standards of her first encounter with public school. But once she caught on she excelled. “I am really proud about winning a total of 14 awards,” she said. “I’m a hard working student. I always try again if I fail.” Being a REACH Scholar will help her family meet the cost of sending Genesis to college, where she hopes to continue her award winning ways. She wants to study Occupational Therapy. After earning her degree, Genesis wants to join the US Army and be a nurse who uses her skills to help wounded soldiers.