KFC Foundation Awards $2.5 Million in Scholarships—The Biggest Award Year to Date

May 15, 2023 10:00 AM ET
KFC FOUNDATION logo on a collage of photos with a red filter

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:



Job Role


Haili Austin Cadillac, MI Team Member Bells & Birds
Paige Trosper Demotte, IN Shift Supervisor Second Gen
Brandon Partida Sun City, AZ Team Member SWF Foods
Trinity Jenson Lebanon, OR Shift Supervisor The Chick Inc
Marleesa May West Hartford, CT Team Member DE Foods
Kaden Thomas Alma, AR Team Member KBP Foods
Jaden Thompson Cincinnati, OH Team Member KBP Foods
Wilfred Nazario Chicopee, MA Team Member Houston Enterprises
Esha Patel White House, TN Team Member AJS Associates
Valerie Vazquez Perris, CA Shift Supervisor RBD
Mara Heino Marquette, MI Shift Supervisor Roubekas 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 the KFC Foundation’s 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.

About the KFC Foundation

The KFC Foundation, an independent 501c3 organization, has provided over $28 million to support and empower more than 9,600 KFC restaurant employees, students and community non-profits across the U.S. The KFC Foundation’s charitable programs include GED achievement, college scholarships, tuition coverage, community giving, savings matching and financial hardship assistance, all made possible by at-register Round-Up donations, purchases of KFC’s Secret Recipe Fries and other donations. For more information, visit kfcfoundation.org. Visit our social channels: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn,