Six U of A Students Create Non-Profit to Help High School Students Apply for College

Six Walton M.B.A. students have founded "Student Launch—Northwest Arkansas," a non-profit organization created to serve the needs of public high school students within Northwest Arkansas by removing financial barriers that prevent students from applying to higher education institutions and other post-graduate opportunities. This is achieved by providing qualifying students in Benton, Washington and Madison counties with financial aid to cover the cost of college application fees, trade school application fees, study materials and registration fees for standardized tests such as the ACT or SAT.

The idea sprouted from the "Do Good Project" in associate professor Adam Stoverink's Business Leadership and Ethics class, where M.B.A. students are charged with doing something that adds value to the world. The project is purposefully open-ended, encouraging creative and diverse submissions from student groups. Abby Roberts, chair of Student Launch, communicated the non-profit idea to her team, who emphatically agreed to help bring the organization to fruition.

The founding members of Student Launch include:

  • Abby Roberts, chair

  • Veronica Garcia, vice chair

  • Laura Jo Randall, board member

  • Tate Nicholson, director of philanthropy

  • Sara McDowell, advocacy director

  • Clay Schuler, director of development

The non-profit has already appeared in an article by C.C. McCandless of KNWA for its collaboration with the Walton M.B.A. Mentorship program, also created by M.B.A. students. Applications for high school students to receive financial aid are being accepted, with information being available on the Student Launch Website. Student Launch also accepts donations to help support in-need public high school students in Northwest Arkansas.


Abby Roberts, M.B.A. student
Walton College of Business


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