Chick-fil-A awards $10,000 in scholarships to four area students

Michael D. Smith
The Daily Ardmoreite

Four area students and Chick-fil-A employees received a total of $10,000 in scholarships this week. Two of the recipients were surprised during their shift on Wednesday with a brief presentation that included family members and a giant check. 

“Oh my gosh, it’s going to be amazing. I’m so excited, it’s going to help out a lot,” said Jessie Kelley, a senior at Plainview High School, who received one of four $2,500 scholarships. Kelley said the scholarship will help her attend Murray State College where she plans to study agribusiness. 

Jessie Kelley and Jayleigh Blevins are surprised during work by Chick-fil-A Ardmore owner Drew Anderson with $2,500 scholarships Wednesday, April 21, 2021.

Jayleigh Blevins, a senior at Marietta High School, knows her $2,500 will help her become a licensed physical therapist but is still not sure where she will attend college. 

“I haven’t decided yet, but I have some ideas,” Blevins said immediately after the surprise Wednesday presentation, which was also attended by several family members at the Ardmore restaurant.

Chick-fil-A has helped more than 66,000 employees with education expenses for more than five decades, including $19 million in scholarships this year, according to Chick-fil-A Ardmore owner Drew Anderson. 

“Every year they get to apply for the scholarship. Last year I think we had one winner, the year before that we had a couple of winners,” said Anderson. 

Employees Abigail and Jocelyn Curington joined Blevins and Kelley at the Ardmore location in each receiving $2,500 scholarships this year but were not on hand for the surprise Wednesday presentation. 

Jayleigh Blevins and Jessie Kelley hold a giant check during a surprise scholarship award ceremony at Chick-fil-A in Ardmore Wednesday, April 21, 2021. The pair was among four employees who received a total of $10,000 in scholarships.

Anderson said any college-bound employee can apply for the annual scholarships that are awarded based on academic achievements, community service and general character as an employee. 

“These four team members all exemplify what it means to be a Chick-fil-A team member, through their attitudes, outstanding character and work ethic. They are excelling at school, involved in their communities and we consider ourselves lucky to have them on our team,” said Anderson. 

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