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Two from Chick-fil-A in Cumming Earn Scholarships

Original Article: http://www.forsythnews.com/section/2/article/29719/

By Kelly Whitmire

Jessica Gipe and David Helms of the Chick-fil-A at Lanier Crossing in Cumming were selected among the 25 students nationwide to receive the 2016 S. Truett Cathy Scholar award.CUMMING — It’s common for college students to work restaurant jobs to help pay for school, but two employees from one popular local eatery will be getting a little extra help.

Named after Chick-fil-A’s founder, it is the highest scholar award given by the company.

Franchise operator Mike Ridzon said he did not envy those who had to select from the more than 1,600 applicants.

He added that the $1,000 award will be the second from the company for both Gipe and Helm, as they were selected from its leadership scholarship winners.

“This is quite a special occasion when we have two people coming out of the same year, the same restaurant.” Ridzon said. “They have worked very hard, [are] very dedicated and [worked] many, many early mornings and late nights.”

Ridzon recently presented the two with plaques and checks at the restaurant.

Gipe is a 2014 graduate of Forsyth Central High School and studies sociology at the University of North Georgia’s Dahlonega campus.

“I honestly didn’t even think I had a chance at winning it, and wouldn’t have gotten it if my boss hadn’t encouraged me,” she said. “I couldn’t even believe it when he told me.”

Helms also attends North Georgia’s Dahlonega campus, where the 2013 West Forsyth High graduate is studying nursing.

“It feels incredible to put so much time and effort into this store,” he said. “It just feels great to be picked out of the 1,600 candidates to receive this award. I feel honored to represent this company and this store.”

While Gipe and Helms are diligent workers and instrumental in the success of the business, Ridzon said he encouraged them when applying to focus on their lives outside of work.

“It’s obvious that the more we can share with Chick-fil-A Inc. about the individuals that are applying [the better],” Ridzon said.

“If they’re doing those things that are impressive and significant, then that increases the likelihood that they’ll be looked at for the top 25.”

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