HICKORY — This summer, 539 restaurant employees at KFC restaurants across the country will receive nearly $1.2 million in college tuition assistance from the KFC Foundation thanks to KFC franchisees, including western North Carolina-based company Felker Day Inc., and the KFC Corp.
Through a competitive selection process, Hickory resident Ethan Nguyen was chosen as a winner via the REACH Educational Grant Program and will receive $2,000 for the 2020-21 academic year.
During these unprecedented times, access to educational programs and resources is more critical than ever. The REACH Program helps KFC U.S. restaurant employees pursue their educational dreams at four-year and two-year colleges, including trade/vocational and graduate schools.
Nguyen, a recent St. Stephens High School graduate, has been an employee at Felker Day since July 2019 and will be attending North Carolina State University in the fall. Felker Day is locally owned and operated by Sandra and Eric Felker. Together, they own seven KFC store locations (Hickory, Hildebran, Conover, Shelby, Taylorsville and Lenoir).
The program takes inspiration from Colonel Harland Sanders and his passion for helping people be their best selves through education. “The KFC family has a long and rich history of philanthropy,” said Emma Horn, managing director of the KFC Foundation. “We’re proud to honor the Colonel’s legacy and help this inspiring, hard-working group of students reach for their dreams.”
Operating independently from KFC Corp. and led by a board including KFC franchisees, the KFC Foundation receives the majority of its financial support from the Cole Slaw Donation Program, a voluntary program where KFC franchisees elect to contribute a portion of their restaurant coleslaw sales to engage in and support the foundation’s initiatives.
The KFC Foundation, an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is committed to providing accessible support and development opportunities to KFC U.S. restaurant employees. Since 2006, the foundation has awarded $20 million to more than 6,400 students and KFC restaurant employees, assisting them in going to college, earning a GED, managing personal finances and getting through hardship/crisis situations.
The KFC Foundation’s charitable programs are made possible through the generosity of KFC’s many franchisees and KFC Corp.
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