Katie’s Version: Turning Bracelets Into Scholarships

Katie Heflin Bracelets
Katie Heflin displays examples of the bracelets she made to raise scholarship funds for her fellow Arkansas Tech University students.

When Arkansas Tech University student Katie Heflin of Dover received the opportunity to provide scholarship assistance for her fellow students, she came through with a record-breaking performance.

In one week, Heflin raised $268.19 for the Dr. Robert R. Edwards Book Scholarship through the ATU Foundation. It was part of a project in Dr. Stephen Jones’ Small Business Management class.

It was the most money raised by a single student since Jones started the project in 2018.

Students invested no more than $5 of their own money in a variety of business ventures with a goal of raising money for the scholarship. Heflin chose to make bracelets that followed a trend sparked by pop star and global icon Taylor Swift.

“I was able to make this business a success because I had the will and determination to make it so,” said Heflin. “Between having a part-time job and being a full-time student, it was very stressful to keep up with the demands. The only time of the day I could reliably work on the bracelets was at night, just before bed. If I had not had the drive to raise money for the scholarship, then I would have gone to sleep. I also would not have been able to make it so successful if I had not had the support from my family and friends willing to pick up the slack.”

Jones’ students raised a total of $1,535.20 for the Edwards Scholarship during the fall 2023 semester. The average amount raised was $34.89 per student. Two students, Ava Johnson, ($162.98) and Abigail Coffman ($104), joined Heflin in raising more than $100 each.

Over the six-year history of the program, it has raised approximately $8,300 for the scholarship.

“This experience taught me that dedication and hard work pay off,” said Heflin. “I knew I wanted to do my best to raise as much money as possible for the Robert Edwards Book Scholarship, so I did everything possible to make that happen. For the week of the project, I put most of my free time and energy into making bracelets and marketing them to friends and family. As someone who probably would not have been able to go to college if it weren’t for the scholarships I received, being able to help other students in similar situations gives me great joy. If it weren’t for the people who helped me out, I would not be where I am today, so being able to be the person helping another is amazing.”

Learn more about the ATU School of Business at www.atu.edu/business.