Good grades and community involvement earned eight Bartow County Chick-fil-A employees college scholarship money totaling $20,000 from the Atlanta-based restaurant chain.

The employees of Chick-fil-A’s Cartersville and Lakepoint restaurants each earned a $2,500 scholarship through the company’s Remarkable Futures initiative, the owner of the Bartow County restaurants said.

Cartersville Chick-fil-A employee recipients and their chosen colleges included:

• Zion Hurt, Kennesaw State University.

• Blake Lee, Georgia Highlands College.

• Morgan North, Kennesaw State University.

• Slomi Orozco, Kennesaw State University.

• Braden Sutton, Southern Union State Community College in Alabama.

Lakepoint Chick-fil-A employee recipients and their chosen colleges included:

• Taylor Garrin, Kennesaw State University.

• Haley Lee, Georgia Highlands College.

• Ensley Tanner, University of South Carolina.

Glenn Jordan, owner and operator of the Bartow locations, said the scholarship’s availability has been a “good recruiting tool” for his restaurants through the three decades he has operated in the county.

“I’m always believing in young people,” he said. “We look for people who are trying to improve themselves.”

The Bartow County employees were among more than 6,000 students nationwide to receive $2,500 to begin or continue their studies at the educational institution of their choice, a news release stated.

Officials in Chick-fil-A’s corporate office choose the winners from thousands of nominated employees nationwide based on factors like leadership and community involvement, as well as academic achievement, the release stated.

Sutton, who works as a team leader at the Cartersville restaurant, said working for Chjck-fil-A for more than three years allowed him to develop leadership skills that will help him in the future. It also helped convince the company to award him the scholarship.

“It just provides so much opportunity,” Sutton said.

He said the money is allowing him to attend an Alabama community college which he hoped would lead to acceptance by his “dream” destination of Auburn University.

Jordan, who earned the same scholarship as a teen in Alabama, said he knew not all of his employees plan to go to college.

However, he said he works closely enough with his 220 employees that he usually knows whom he will nominate for the scholarship.

Chick-fil-A increased the amount in its scholarship program to give employees nationwide a total of nearly $15.34 million in 2019 toward college tuition, a release stated.

The funds can be used at any accredited institute of higher education — either online, two-year, technical or traditional four-year college programs.

Company founder Truett Cathy began offering scholarships at Chick-fil-A in 1973 when he “sat a mayonnaise jar on his first restaurant counter to help Team Member Eddie White pursue his dream of a college education,” the company’s website stated.

Since then, Chick-fil-A has helped 53,000 employees with $75 million in scholarships.

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