Below is an excerpt from the essay that earned her the prestigious Janet L. Kuhn Scholarship.
"There was one day that I feel was significant to me—where I went 'above and beyond.' A regular customer came to the drive-thru window. Previously she had told me how she's been having a hard time, as her husband had passed away a year earlier and she had been working two jobs to support her three kids.
That particular day she seemed more stressed than usual. Her baby was crying in the back and the kids were being rowdy. She had ordered a family meal for her son on his birthday with his favorites: mac and cheese and biscuits. When I went to cash her out, her card declined several times. When I told her, tears formed in her eyes. She reached for her purse, looked for cash and informed me she only had $12 (the total was $32.60). She apologized for taking up my time and not having the money.
Before she could drive off, I instinctively told her not to worry. The food was already packed and I had thrown cookies in there for the little boy’s birthday. I grabbed my wallet and paid for the rest. I don't think I've ever seen a person so happy and appreciative towards me. She told me she would pay me back, but I insisted it was my birthday present to her son.
Working at KFC definitely motivated me to complete this action. Given the chance to have this job and serve people pushes me every day. It has shaped me into a more hard-working, patient, and giving individual. Without my job, I wouldn't have been able to help as I did."
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 provides an additional $1,000 in college tuition assistance to two REACH Grant recipients per year (one per application period). This scholarship is given on top of what the awardee receives through the REACH Educational Grant Program®. To be considered for this award, applicants must complete an essay—the above story is an excerpt from Alexis’ essay submission.
For more information on the REACH Educational Grant Program, click here.