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KFC Foundation awards $2.5 million in scholarships—the biggest award year to date

The KFC Foundation Scholarship program helps KFC restaurant employees in the U.S. pursue their educational dreams by providing $20,000, $5,000, and $2,500 scholarships to use toward tuition at the accredited four-year or two-year college, trade/vocational school, or graduate school of their choice.

In 2023, 500+ KFC restaurant employees received a KFC Foundation Scholarship. Of those, eleven KFC restaurant employees received a $20,000 scholarship, and hundreds received a $5,000 or $2,500 award.

The eleven $20,000 scholarship winners are:

NameCity/StateJob RoleFranchisee
Haili AustinCadillac, MITeam MemberBells & Birds
Paige TrosperDemotte, INShift SupervisorSecond Gen
Brandon PartidaSun City, AZTeam MemberSWF Foods
Trinity JensonLebanon, ORShift SupervisorThe Chick Inc
Marleesa MayWest Hartford, CTTeam MemberDE Foods
Kaden ThomasAlma, ARTeam MemberKBP Foods
Jaden ThompsonCincinnati, OHTeam MemberKBP Foods
Wilfred NazarioChicopee, MATeam MemberHouston Enterprises
Esha PatelWhite House, TNTeam MemberAJS Associates
Valerie VazquezPerris, CAShift SupervisorRBD
Mara HeinoMarquette, MIShift SupervisorRoubekas Enterprises

Monika Khadka, KFC team member in Warrenton, Virginia (Franchisee: Mitra QSR), was awarded the Janet L. Kuhn Scholarship, which doubled her scholarship amount to a total of $10,000.

Five KFC Foundation Scholarship winners earned their high school credential through our GED Achievement program—Brandon Gaby, Dominatrice Cantrell-Long, Rasheed Jellouli, Enrique Lavin Villanueva, and Chelora Trice.

Did you know… Anyone who earns their GED through the KFC Foundation and meets minimum eligibility requirements is guaranteed a $2,500 or $5,000 scholarship for college or trade school!

“We are proud to continue the KFC Family’s long history of philanthropy, inspired by Colonel Harland Sanders’ passion for helping people. Providing access to educational programs and resources for this hard-working group of students is just one of the ways the KFC Foundation impacts the lives of restaurant employees,” said Emma Horn, Executive Director of the KFC Foundation.

In addition to the scholarship program, the KFC Foundation also supports eligible KFC restaurant employees and their communities through the following charitable assistance programs:

  • Tuition-Free College – 100% tuition coverage when enrolled at Western Governor’s University® (WGU), an accredited online university dedicated to making higher education accessible for as many people as possible.
  • GED Achievement – Unlimited access to GED preparation and testing and pairs students with a personal advisor, in partnership with GED Testing Service®. Offered in both English and Spanish.
  • Financial Hardship Assistance – Financial assistance to KFC restaurant employees directly impacted by a severe hardship, crisis, or catastrophic incident beyond their control.
  • Savings Match – $1 for $1 savings match opportunity to equip KFC restaurant employees with a short-term emergency fund and a long-term habit of saving money.
  • Kentucky Fried Wishes – Community non-profit organizations can apply to receive a $10,000 grant to make a project on their wish list come true.