Even though he was a sixth-grade dropout, Colonel Harland Sanders, who built one of the most famous restaurant chains in the world, always recognized the importance of an education. Today, the Kentucky Fried Chicken Foundation continues that commitment to education by awarding REACH Educational Grants to more than 500 hourly team members.
KFC team members Victoria Rodriguez and Michael Escobar give four enthusiastic thumbs up after learning they both won $2,000 grants to assist with educational expenses. They work at the KFC restaurant in Lubbock, Texas. The grants are part of the Kentucky Fried Chicken Foundation’s REACH KFC Educational Grant Program. More than 500 grants were awarded to KFC team members in 2013. (Photo: Business Wire)
From technical schools to university graduate degree programs, this year the Foundation is assisting 508 KFC team members achieve their educational dreams. In the past two years, more than 800 employees have received grants worth nearly $1.5 million. Since 2006, an additional $10 million in college scholarships have been awarded by the Foundation.
Every day at KFC, we are inspired by Colonel Sanders legacy and his belief in the importance of determination, passion and philanthropy, said John Cywinski, President of KFC U.S. Today, the Foundation is focused on the KFC REACH grant program, which assists KFC restaurant hourly team members and shift supervisors in pursuing their educations.
The stories of the REACH grant recipients are as unique as the employees themselves.
Janelle Davies is a 43-year-old single mother, full-time college student and breast cancer survivor. Her goal is to become a radiologic technologist and help others who are diagnosed with cancer.
Twenty-year-old Karla Anzora moved to the U.S. five years ago. She is a college student who works more than 25 hours a week to help support her family in El Salvador. She has aspirations of becoming an immigration lawyer.
Deyonta Johnson grew up in a neighborhood riddled with crime, drugs and alcohol. He wants to attend graduate school so he can assist those who are in similar situations. This grant allows me to further my education, with the goal of providing services to indigent families, he said. I want to give back to the community and work to inspire others to be all that they can be.
Of the more than 500 REACH grant recipients for 2013, 54 percent are already attending college and 40 percent are recent high school graduates entering college. An additional four percent are in graduate school and two percent will attend a trade or vocational school. Thirty-eight 2013 grant recipients also won scholarships in 2012.
The $2,000 grants help recipients attend four-year or two-year educational institutions. Winners are selected via a competitive application process and may reapply each year. Team members and shift managers who work at least 15 hours a week are eligible to apply.
To learn more about the program and the inspirational people who are chasing their dreams, follow the KFC Foundation at facebook.com/kfcfoundation.
KFC Corporation, based in Louisville, Ky., is the world’s most popular chicken restaurant chain specializing in Original Recipe®, Extra Crispy, Kentucky Grilled Chicken®, Extra Crispy Tenders and Original Recipe® Boneless, with home-style sides, Hot Wings, and freshly made chicken sandwiches. There are more than 17,000 KFC outlets in more than 115 countries and territories around the world. Each week, more than 13 million people visit a KFC restaurant in the United States. KFC Corporation is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., Louisville, Ky. (NYSE: YUM.) For more information, visit www.kfc.com. Follow KFC on Facebook (www.facebook.com/KFC) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/kfc_colonel).
About the Kentucky Fried Chicken Foundation
The Kentucky Fried Chicken Foundation believes in making a difference in the lives of those who are willing to work hard and improve themselves through education. Since 1998, the non-profit Kentucky Fried Chicken Foundation has helped one of the worlds most recognizable brands give back, thanks to the widespread and ongoing support of KFC franchisees and KFC Corporation.
Inspired by Colonel Harland D. Sanders legacy and his belief in the importance of determination, passion and philanthropy, the KFC Foundation has a rich and diverse charitable giving history. Today, the Foundation is primarily focused on helping provide educational opportunities through scholarships and grants for post high school education programs. Since 2006, the Foundation has awarded over $11 million in scholarships and educational grants to deserving students.
The Kentucky Fried Chicken Foundation, Inc. is an independent 501(c)3 charity primarily funded by contributions from KFC franchisees and KFC Corporation.