Our Stories

Reach for Excellence announces a grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

Reach for Excellence has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation for Middle School Academic Enrichment. This grant will support Reach for Excellence in its goal of preparing high-achieving middle school students with limited opportunities and financial resources to succeed in challenging college preparatory high schools.

Over the next two years, this generous grant will fund curriculum development, science programming, enrichment activities, standardized test preparation, and additional staffing, as well as college readiness initiatives for Reach graduates in high school. Reach for Excellence and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation share a common purpose of supporting high-achieving students with limited resources in realizing their educational goals.

“This funding will have a significant impact on our efforts to increase our enrichment activities and build our college readiness programming,” said Dr. Linda Lehmil, Executive Director of Reach for Excellence. “We are grateful to the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and look forward to strengthening our partnership.”

Reach for Excellence works with students beginning in 6th grade to provide academic and leadership enrichment. Through three years of both Saturday and summer sessions, students take classes in math, language arts, social studies, and computer science as well as additional cultural and leadership programming. During their 8th grade year, Reach for Excellence helps students and families with high school choice and applications.

The model of Reach for Excellence partners well with the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, which provides comprehensive support beginning in 8th grade and continues through graduate school. The Cooke Young Scholars Program identifies high-achieving, low-income students starting in 8th grade and supports them with programming and scholarships through high school. Reach for Excellence has three Jack Kent Cooke Young Scholars, shown above in the current 8th grade class. Three Reach for Excellence graduates have also been awarded the Cooke College Scholarship with one graduating from Stanford, another from Vanderbilt, and one currently attending Harvard.

Through this generous partnership, Reach for Excellence will be able to provide more targeted programming for high achieving students, as well as continued support for graduates in high school as they continue their journey to college.

Reach for Excellence is grateful for the support of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and looks forward to furthering our shared mission.