Four Glynn County eighth-grade students have a unique and excellent opportunity to make the most of their educations.

Last week, Yannet Ramirez, Yasaira Bosquez, Ariyana Lowe and Sierra Hughes signed contracts to become the first REACH Scholars in the school system’s history.

REACH, or Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen, is a need-based scholarship program sponsored by the state. It will offer mentoring and other services to provide more access to promising lower-income students. If each student completes the program, they will get a $10,000 scholarship to use for college.

Completing the program will require plenty of work and dedication, but it will pay off later in ways the students will one day appreciate. But to get there, it will take the support of their parents and guardians, who also signed the contracts last week pledging to support their students along the way.

Involving the parents in the process and starting it early will give these students a nice kickstart on their way to the ultimate goal of continuing their education after high school. With the help of mentors and parents, these students have what they need to meet the requirements, which are to attend school regularly, maintain good behavior and maintain a minimum of a 2.5 grade point average in rigorous coursework.

Moving on to college or technical school after high school may be a given for some students, but for others, it is not. Signing on for the REACH program will mean these students are focused and have the resources they need to overcome any adversity they may face.

Having a group of invested people who will guide them along the way will mean their chances of succeeding and moving on to bigger and better things will be greatly increased.

The program has already worked well in the more than 100 counties that have adopted it since its inception in 2012. The plan is for REACH to be in all 180 school systems in the state and to serve more than 3,000 students by 2020.

It is now poised to make a real impact in Glynn County.

We commend the state and Glynn County Schools for taking on this valuable program, and for making an investment in these student’s futures.

We look forward to seeing the results.