David and Melanie Couchman of Sandy Springs Together.

The Next Step to Success scholarship program doubled how much it will give to students from Sandy Springs recipients this year for their post-secondary academic or vocational training.

The Couchman Noble Foundation announced that up to $40,000 will be awarded through the scholarship program, according to a news release. Individual awards will be as much as $4,000.

Eligible students must submit an online application by Feb. 14. To apply for the Next Step to Success scholarship, or for more information, students, parents and educators can visit the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta’s website. 

The Next Step to Success scholarship helps Sandy Springs students who are already enrolled in either a part-time or full-time post-high school academic or vocational curriculum and need additional financial assistance in earning a post-secondary education. 

David and Melanie Couchman, lifelong supporters of local nonprofits, began the Next Step to Successscholarship program to help students overcome financial barriers that would otherwise prevent them from achieving their academic and career goals.

“We’re pleased to know that through our foundation, we can help students reach their full potential without worrying about financial costs and long-term debt,” said David Couchman, co-founder and president of the Couchman Noble Foundation. “Our students are the future leaders of our community, so we must continue to support them in their endeavors.”

Initially, the pilot program two years ago provided financial aid only to recipients of the Martha Barrios Mead Scholarship, awarded by Los Niños Primero. An additional partnership this year with Sandy Springs Education Force’s high school programs of SAIL and PUSH has allowed the Next Step program to expand and reach a greater number of students. SAIL and PUSH are student support programs offered to all seniors who do not have educational plans post-graduation at both North Springs High School and Riverwood International Charter School.

“It is our hope that The Next Step to Success scholarship helps these students and their families achieve financial success. Many of these students are the first in their families to attend college or a vocational training program. By providing the funds for them to complete their education debt free, they will be able to begin planning and saving for their future sooner,” said Melanie Couchman, co-founder of the Couchman Noble Foundation.

Since 2003, the foundation has supported many of the city’s nonprofits like Sandy Springs public schools and organizations like the Community Assistance Center, Sandy Springs Education Force, Los Niños Primero, Sandy Springs Mission, Leadership Sandy Springs and many more. 

In 2019, the Couchman Noble Foundation created its own nonprofit organization, Sandy Springs Together. It is dedicated to bringing a voice to all residents of Sandy Springs while addressing current issues and challenges facing the city. 

Bob Pepalis

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Rough Draft Atlanta and Reporter Newspapers.