Helping students succeed in school by providing a free, anonymous place to shop for items that meet their basic needs.

Our History


In 2015, The United Way of Central Ohio asked the community for innovative ideas to reduce poverty. Two AmeriCorps Alumni, Nicole Hebert-Ford and Jason Phillips, submitted a proposal that we now call, Student Success Stores. Out of four finalists that would pitch their idea at the United Way of Central Ohio’s Pitch to Ditch Poverty event, Student Success Stores received the most support from event attendees, won the pitch, and fundraised $7,500.


Our founding board was led by Nicole and Jason, and made up of six other idealists: Sarai Veronique Exil, April Homolak, Kayleigh Gallagher, Kelly Moore, Meredith Priess, and Wes Taylor. Together, they opened our first stores at Champion Middle School, Columbus Global Academy, and Mifflin Middle School in the 2016-2017 school year.

Today, we serve nine schools in the Columbus City Schools District with six stores: Arts Impact Middle School, Champion Middle School, Columbus Global Academy, Columbus North International High School, Fort Hayes Arts and Academic High School, Fort Hayes Career Center, Mifflin Middle School, South High School, and Wedgewood Middle School. We plan to move into three more schools in the 2019-2020 school year and four in the 2020-2021 school year.

We don’t do it alone. Learn more about our team, partners and schools.