The goal of Reach for Excellence is to change the lives of underserved middle school students through education and opportunity.

So many young people have talent but lack access to the tools and resources that will help them flourish. At Reach for Excellence, students connect with talented and creative teachers, educational experiences, and mentors who help them raise their expectations of themselves and what they can achieve. The ultimate goal is to equip graduates with the tools they need to succeed in high school—and beyond.

Reach for Excellence is a tuition-free academic and leadership enrichment program that empowers determined learners and expands their possibilities in the classroom, in the community, and in life. Reach for Excellence offers students of limited income a mix of academic, cultural, and community-based experiences that prepares them for the challenges of college-preparatory programs and high schools.

Students and families make a three-year commitment to attend weekend and summer classes. Our population is comprised of academically talented students who have the determination to succeed and through Reach for Excellence discover the path.

Reach for Excellence provides them with not only tools to excel, but also caring mentorship. Reach for Excellence faculty and staff prepare students for success with more than classroom education; the program also teaches etiquette, leadership, and contribution to society. Reach for Excellence students form a community of like-minded young people who strive to better their opportunities in the classroom and in life.

Wondering whether your child is eligible and what they would learn? Need more details about the program? Find answers to these and other questions on the Reach for Excellence FAQs page.


Reach for Excellence was founded by the Society of Mary and is hosted at Marist School in Atlanta, Georgia. The program began in 2001, the 100-year anniversary of Marist School, as an extension of the Society of Mary’s values and mission to provide educational enrichment to those who may not otherwise have access to it.

Though it is hosted by Marist School, Reach for Excellence is an independent 501(c)(3) that is responsible for its own funding and is governed by its own board of directors.