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franklin county times
Allyson Deras, Amanda Antunez and Karem Bailon-Luna celebrate their scholarships awarded through the Kentucky Fried Chicken Foundation. They will each receive $2,000 for the 2018-19 academic year.

KFC Foundation selects three RHS students for scholarships

This year, 500 restaurant employees at KFC restaurants across the country will receive a combined $1.2 million in college tuition assistance from the Kentucky Fried Chicken Foundation – including three students who work at the Russellville location.

Through a competitive selection process, Russellville High School students Allyson Deras, Amanda Antunez and Karem Bailon-Luna have been chosen as winners via the REACH Educational Grant Program, and each will receive $2,000 for the 2018-19 academic year.

Funds are made available thanks to KFC franchisees, including local franchise owner Charles Clark, and the KFC Corporation.

“We have had other winners previously but never three at one time,” said local franchise vice president Tim Clark. “These are all very deserving young ladies, and we are very proud of them.”

KFC celebrated with Deras, Antunez and ABailon-Luna at Russellville KFC Nov. 28. “Each of them received a certificate and an oversized check to represent the award they will be receiving from the KFC Foundation,” Tim Clark said.

Deras, of Spruce Pine, who has been working at KFC for 11 months, said she plans to attend The University of Alabama at Birmingham to pursue a degree in the medical field. Her goals are to get to medical school and earn her doctorate.

Store manager Jesse Ramirez said, “Allyson has been a hard worker since she joined our team at KFC. She will strive to achieve her goals.”
Antunez, of Russellville, who has been working at KFC for 16 months, said she plans to attend Northwest-Shoals Community College, followed by medical school and a doctorate. “Amanda has been a great asset to our team at KFC. She is a dependable and hardworking person, and that will take her far into her college career,” Ramirez added.
Bailon-Luna, also of Russellville, has been working at KFC for seven months. She said she plans to attend Northwest-Shoals Community College and pursue a career in nursing, ultimately becoming a registered nurse.

“Karem is a hardworking and humble person,” Ramirez said. “She would help anyone out if they asked her to. She will become a great nurse one day.”

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. The program takes inspiration from Col. 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 Krista Snider, managing director of the Foundation. “We’re proud to be able to honor the colonel’s legacy and help this inspiring, hard-working group of students.”

Since 1998, the nonprofit Foundation has helped one of the world’s most recognizable brands give back. The Foundation has awarded $16 million in scholarships and educational grants to 3,700 students since 2006. For more on the Foundation and its programs, visit KFCfoundation.org.

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