Meet Christopher, KFC team member and second generation Ghanaian-American determined to change the world.
Christopher Agyare is a team member at an Illinois KFC (KBP Foods), second generation Ghanaian-American, recent REACH Grant recipient, Janet L. Kuhn Scholarship winner, and future electrical engineer who has his sights set on making the world a better place.
He is embarking on his college career this fall at Iowa State University, with the ultimate goal of “working for a company that focuses on helping third world countries with innovative solutions to make life simpler without compromising their culture and tradition.”
Not only was Christopher selected as one of 530+ REACH Grant recipients from the spring 2020 application period, he was also selected as the sole winner of the Janet L. Kuhn Scholarship, which provides an additional $1,000 in college tuition assistance on top of the REACH Grant. A committee comprised of people who knew the late Janet L. Kuhn—and her passion for education and helping others—well reviews the essays and selects the one that best embodies Janet’s spirit.
You’ll see why Christopher earned the honorable Janet L. Kuhn Scholarship when you read his essay below.
Tell us about someone from KFC or outside of work who has made a positive impact on your life. In what way have they impacted you? How have they helped shape who you are today?
I am a second generation Ghanaian. In my culture we have a term called Sankofa which means to go back and get it. This term has a significant meaning to me, my family and Obo-Kwahu, a small village where my father is from. I realize that everyone’s story is different, but mine is unique because my goals and aspirations reflects everything my dad has prepared me for.
Since I can remember, I have always had a passion for problem-solving and helping others. My drive has always come from a family of people who have a passion to help their community. My father came to America with no formal education however he provided the opportunity for a good education, exposure to positive surroundings and importance of helping those in need. This had been the basis for me wanting to succeed through higher education and become an electrical engineer. I know I can make a difference in the lives of many in Obo-Kwahu and hundreds of villages across the world and that is what I have set out to do.
I have not had a hard life; I have never been without basic needs. I have always had the support of him wanting me to succeed. But I know there are people in those small villages that have not had this and my dad has always encouraged me to good in school so I can go back and help those in need. He has in instilled in me that my degree is another form of Sankofa, me reaching back to Ghana, Africa and the world.
My goal is to become an electrical engineer. Many members of my family including my father, could not live to their potentials due to a lack of education that could have made a difference in their lives and villages. Without simple essentials many kids dropped out of school and looked for local work and get stuck in a cycle that continued for generations. Because of my dad, I am aware of the importance and privilege of how my education can make a difference in many people’s lives and changing the narratives for future generations.
I am grateful for my dad for providing a positive outlook on life and for my future. He has taught me how to work hard, be transparent and try to be a good person not only for myself but for my family, community and people who are looking forward to me making something of myself and making a difference in this world.
About the Janet L. Kuhn Scholarship
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, playing a key role in guiding the organization’s 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, and 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 Christopher’s essay submission.
For more information on the REACH Educational Grant Program, click here.