Atlanta students connect to college in Arkansas

The text to Kennady McAfee read “Free College.”

“For real?,” the now 19-year-old thought as she dialed Kimberly Scott, the mentor who sent it.

Well, not exactly free. But Arkansas Baptist College was offering free meal plans, help securing campus jobs and more.

McAfee is one of more than 100 Atlanta-area students who have enrolled in recent years at Arkansas Baptist, a small historically black college, drawn through word of mouth, inducements from the school and support from mentors, local businesses and an Atlanta school board member.

As schools in metro Atlanta and nationally focus on enrolling students in postsecondary education, this low-key partnership has quietly funneled area students — some of whom never thought college was for them — into higher education.

“It’s just the community people coming together and helping kids,” said Atlanta school board member Steven Lee.

ExploreRead the story of this connection and how it has affected young people’s lives at