The Kansas Constitution demands that every child be given the educational opportunity to meet his or her promise. But as Peter and Veronica Mallouk have seen, economically disadvantaged kids in Kansas – as in every other state – face steep barriers to higher education.

Peter, who has seen evidence of Give Something Back’s success in helping students of adversity go to college and graduate, reached out to me a year-and-a-half ago about starting a program in his home state.

Peter and Veronica – graduates of the University of Kansas and co-founders of KC CAN!, a Kansas City-based organization – do wonderful work in impoverished communities in Kansas, helping to provide basic needs. But the issue of education seemed too daunting to take on — until they heard about Give Back.

“We’re motivated by kids who show promise, but just need to be helped along,” Peter told my staff. “Give Back is the best program we’ve seen.”

With a remarkably generous contribution of $4 million, the Peter and Veronica Mallouk Give Back Program enables our mission to expand to Kansas. It is the first time in Give Back’s history that I am not personally funding scholarships for a state, and I’m really excited about that. I’m hoping this model serves for Give Back’s expansion into other states. In fact, I’m already having conversations with individuals who can make that happen.

Over the past month, we have signed agreements with four colleges in Kansas — Pittsburg State University, Wichita State University, Baker University, and Kansas State University. Peter and his wife selected these institutions because they have good reputations and a strong interest and motivation in helping underprivileged kids succeed.

As president and chief investment officer of Creative Planning, one of the largest independent wealth management firms in the country, and Barron’s #1 Independent Financial Advisor in America for three years in a row, I think it’s fair to say that Peter Mallouk knows a good investment when he sees one. I’m looking forward to working with Peter and Veronica. I am confident that the Peter and Veronica Mallouk Give Back Program will be as successful in Kansas as it is in our other states.