Two Wichitans Named 2023 Jabara Scholars in Entrepreneurship


The W. Frank Barton School of Business at Wichita State University has chosen two recipients to receive the 2023 Professor Fran Jabara Scholarship in Entrepreneurship. This year’s winners are Kayla Atkinson from Andover Central High School and Caleb Lowry from Eisenhower High School. They will each receive more than $32,500 spread over four years to attend WSU and major in entrepreneurship.

“The Barton School’s legacy is directly tied to entrepreneurship,” said Dr. Larisa Genin, dean of the Barton School of Business. “Kayla and Caleb are now an integral part of that legacy.”

The Jabara Scholarship is one of the largest of its kind nationally for entrepreneurs. To qualify, a student must write an essay and have achieved at least 24 score on their ACT, a 3.5 high school GPA and declare entrepreneurship as their major. The scholarship is named after the late Fran Jabara, who was a WSU faculty member for 40 years and founded the Center for Entrepreneurship at WSU. Along with serving as the dean of the College of Business Administration, Jabara received the Faculty Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001 and the President’s Medal in 2002.

Kayla is a senior at Andover Central in Andover, Kansas. She is very involved with Circle of Friends, which is a mentoring program that establishes relationships between special education students and their traditional peers. Outside of school, Kayla loves to bake, read, draw and watch TV and movies. She wants to start a bakery and share her love for new techniques, baked goods and healthy eating.

“I got the call about the scholarship minutes before I had to clock in for work. It was one of my best days of work ever,” said Atkinson. “There are so many amazing business professionals that have gone through the Barton School program and Wichita has such a great reputation for entrepreneurship. I’m excited to be there.”

Caleb is a senior at Eisenhower High School in Goddard, Kansas. He has participated in a variety of sports including varsity football, golf, baseball, track, powerlifting and wrestling for his school. He has also helped lead a bible study club and is a member of National Honor Society. Outside of school, he serves as a member of his church’s leadership team and plays drums. His dream is to create a company related to sports and outdoors.

“I love the idea of being an entrepreneur because I can create my own path,” said Lowry. “Whether it be joining a business to build its success or creating my own, I want to start something small and make it great.”