©2018 by Step Ahead Scholars


Step Ahead Scholars is bridging the educational divide by encouraging underserved students to live their lives with limitless opportunities through college access. We believe all students should have access to the resources and tools needed to pursue a college education at their best fit school. Through informational sessions, one-on-one coaching, and community outreach initiatives, we work to increase the number of underserved students successfully navigating the college admissions and transition process. Our mission is to eradicate college inequality.

How It All Began

In 2010, Kamal Carter was teaching chemistry at an underserved public high school in Atlanta. Faced with inequality daily, he created a volunteer program that offered students real world educational experiences by having "Lunch With A Mentor." One day a student asked one of the mentors for help accessing college. The student did not have internet access and did not know where to start. That mentor, Debra Nealy, coached the student through the process and helped him garner acceptances and enough scholarships to attend college for free. Based on this success and the need they saw in the community, Ms. Nealy and Mr. Carter founded Step Ahead Scholars, a bootstrapped college access program that has reached more than 2,000 underserved students and garnered more than $50 million in scholarships.

Our Results

2,000+ underserved students introduced to proven college access strategies and concepts  

300+ cohort students mentored through one-on-one coaching sessions

99% FAFSA completion rate

96% of seniors enrolled in college immediately after graduation

$50M+ in scholarships earned by Step Ahead high school seniors