Samantha Powell, Shift Supervisor at a Kentucky KFC with KBP Foods, was working at the drive-thru window when a customer’s car stopped running in the lane. The customer, Jared, was distraught and flustered—he needed to get back to the hospital ASAP, as his father was very ill.
Samantha ran out to help and, along with two kind strangers, they pushed Jared’s car out of the drive-thru lane into a spot. Samantha pulled her car around and used her jumper cables to get the car running again.
While jump-starting the car, they also noticed a flat tire. Samantha and the two others continued to assure Jared that everything would be okay, and were able to replace the tire with his spare and Samantha’s car jack. Knowing Jared was having a rough day and going through a lot with his father’s illness, Samantha bought Jared’s KFC meal for him as an extra act of kindness.
Two months later, Jared returned to the same KFC with his father, and introduced Samantha as the "Wonder Woman who saved the day.”
“His father thanked me for the kindness I had shown his son and vowed to come only to my KFC,” Samantha said. “Jared and his father still visit the restaurant and if I am not around, they ask the cashiers, ‘Where's the Wonder Woman at?!’”
Samantha has been working at KFC for almost nine years. She is a junior at Northern Kentucky University, majoring in biology. Her goal is to continue onto medical school and become a psychiatrist, where her “Wonder Woman” mentality will be put to great use.
Through the REACH Grant, Samantha received $2,500 in college tuition assistance and an additional $1,000 for being the Janet L. Kuhn Scholarship winner in Fall 2018.
The Janet L. Kuhn Scholarship was created by two generous KFC franchisees and KFC Corporation (KFCC) in honor of Janet Kuhn, KFC Director of Training Execution, who passed away suddenly in December 2016.
Janet’s 27-year career with the KFC brand began as a restaurant general manager. She worked her way up through the ranks, reaching leadership positions with KFCC in Operations, Restaurant Excellence, and Training. Throughout her career, Janet remained passionate about helping restaurant teams. She served on the KFC Foundation Board of Directors for 8 years, helping guide the mission toward providing assistance to the people who run KFC restaurants every day. She cared deeply about restaurant employees, her coworkers and KFC’s customers. She was always willing to go out of her way to help someone.
The Janet L. Kuhn Scholarship is awarded to two restaurant employees each year via the KFC Foundation’s REACH Educational Grant Program application process (one award per application period). To be considered for the Janet L. Kuhn Scholarship, employees must complete an essay, in addition to the normal REACH Grant application—the above story is paraphrased from Samantha’s essay submission.For more information on the REACH Educational Grant Program, click here.