Kniasia Fortney, Cohort 2013 K

Tell us the story about how you came to Reach for Excellence…

I came to Reach for Excellence in 2011 as a rising 7th grader. I was attending a school named ICS (International Community School). ICS wasn’t the richest school, but everyone there was like family. When I got the opportunity to join Reach for Excellence I was ecstatic. I knew it was something that would benefit me in the long run.

What memories from the program stand out to you and why?

I think my favorite memory would definitely have to be going to Dahlonega, Georgia. We did so many things I could never forget. We were “mining” for gold, and whatever we found, we could keep. I also enjoyed being with the other students at Reach for Excellence because we were like a family, growing together, becoming better each year at Reach.

What class or part of Reach was the most challenging for you and why? How did Reach helped you succeed?

I think the most challenging part of Reach was the math classes. Math has always been a subject I was good at but just too lazy to put the effort in to do. In my last year at Reach, I decided that I was going to actually apply myself in my math classes because I really wanted to prove to myself and Mr. Wailing (Our Saturday School Math teacher) that I could do it.

What would you like current Reach for Excellence students to know?

I would like current students to know that Reach for Excellence is a place where you can enhance yourself to become the best version of yourself! Everyone at Reach is there to help you prosper and aid you in preparing for the real world with new skills.

Tell us about your journey after Reach for Excellence…

After Reach, I went to Georgia State University and obtained my associate’s in early childhood education, and I’m now currently obtaining my bachelor’s in health and physical education. Reach for Excellence taught me so many new skills, and I learned so many new things that I took with me where ever I went.

What did you learn in RFE that has stayed with you?

I learned professionalism at Reach.

What is one thing about Reach for Excellence you hope will never change?

The atmosphere. Reach for Excellence has an atmosphere like no other. I never felt like I didn’t belong, I was always welcomed with encouragement. The atmosphere at Reach is like having a big extended family.

If you could speak to a donor right now, what would you want to say or want them to know about supporting Reach for Excellence?

Reach for Excellence is a place that is changing students for the better, giving them opportunities they might not have a chance to take advantage of.