Alma Student Initiates Change


Submitted Photo

Colin Keady poses in a shirt from his Katonga Kollection. His designs prompted him propose a change in the law for young entrepreneurs.

Chaarlee Hickman, Staff Writer

An Alma High School Student amended a law in Arkansas in 2017 to help students between the ages 16-18 to start a business.

Colin Keady, as a Sophomore, amended Arkansas Code § 4-27-201. The law allows young entrepreneurs between the ages of 16 and 18 to start a business with someone 21 or older acting on his or her behalf as an incorporator of an corporation.

Keady started thinking about changing this law when he started an English project his sophomore year. The project was “The Indifference Project” initiated in the classroom of Michael Hensley, Alma High School English teacher.

“It wasn’t difficult to start the bill; it was more the research to find the issue to (be) able to get it solved,” Keady said.

On the day of the passing of the amended code, Keady said, “I was so nervous I didn’t know what was going to happen (and I) saw that end goal of all that work.”

Keady says that it not only makes him proud of what he did but also an inspiration to others to get something done. “If you want to change the world go for it.” says Keady.

His business is a teen preppy clothing store bases in Arkansas called Katonga Kollection. Keady’s plan for the business is to create a brand out of teen’s passions for preppy clothing. His goal is to one day have a real Katonga Kollection store, not just an online one.

The prices for the shirts are twenty dollars. Five percent of all the profits go to a Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Ngamba Island. The Ngamba Sanctuary is in Uganda which is where a river called  Katonga River is, and Keady thought it would be the great name for his clothing company.

“I feel it is imperative to give back and to be socially responsible, and I have always been passionate about monkeys; the two came together and that is where I got the idea to support the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary.” says Keady.

“I want (anyone) to take away (from my story) the fact that if you are passionate about something you can do it.” says Keady.

I want (anyone) to take away (from my story) the fact that if you are passionate about something you can do it.”

— Colin Keady, Alma High School Junior

For now he is focusing on the Colin Keady Mentor Program which he says his goal is to give 16 to 18 year olds the resources and assistance necessary to start their own business while guiding them through the process.

“Really a lot of this has stemmed from changing the world… it sounds cliche but it’s amazing what you can accomplish.” said Keady.