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Chick-fil-A Founder Selects North Cobb Grad for Chain's Top Scholarship

Kimberly Westwood, who is studying early childhood education at Kennesaw State University, is one of only 25 winners across the country.

North Cobb High School alumna and Chick-fil-A team member Kimberly Westwood is one of only 25 students across the country to receive the 2013 S. Truett Cathy Scholar Award, the chain’s highest scholar recognition that continues Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy’s legacy of supporting higher education.

Westwood will receive the award from her franchised Operator Andy Duncan, at 6 p.m. April 8, at the Chick-fil-A restaurant located at 3295 Cobb Pkwy.

The 25 winners are chosen annually from among the chain’s 1,600 Leadership Scholarship winners, all of whom are employed at Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country. The program was created by Cathy in 1973, marking 40 years of scholarship giving that to date has resulted in $30.7 million in $1,000 scholarships nationwide and more than $3.02 million awarded in Georgia alone.

This second $1,000 scholarship, the S. Truett Cathy Scholar Award, recognizes team members who excel in academics, community service and leadership. A life-long supporter of higher education, Cathy personally selected Westwood and the other 2013 recipients in conjunction with a blue-ribbon panel of Atlanta-area civic and business leaders.

Westwood becomes the second Chick-fil-A restaurant team member in Acworth to be selected for the honor. Four students from Georgia were selected this year -- bringing the total in the state to 306.

“For several generations now it has been a priority for me to encourage and support our team members as they seek to further their education,” said Cathy, 92, who continues to serve as CEO of the Atlanta-based chain he founded. “I am thrilled to recognize youth such as Kimberly whose dedication, pursuit of excellence and personal character exemplify the traits we want to foster in the leaders of tomorrow.”

Westwood has worked at the Acworth location since September of 2007. She is studying early childhood education at Kennesaw State University. A 2009 graduate of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Westwood was active in Beta Club, FCA, Baptist Collegiate Ministry, and National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She also volunteered with Relay for Life, Operation Christmas Child, World Changers and served as a Sunday School Teacher at her church.  

Kimberly personifies the qualities the S. Truett Cathy Scholar Award was created to recognize,” said Duncan. “She leads by example in our restaurant and community. I am delighted that her hard work, positive attitude and leadership have been rewarded with this prestigious scholarship.”

Chick-fil-A’s franchised Operators make an effort to create a working environment that cultivates creativity among team members as well character development that will help them excel in school, home and in their communities. These Operators, many of whom are Leadership Scholarship and S. Truett Cathy Scholar Award recipients themselves, serve as mentors in promoting the development of restaurant team members in the areas of goal-setting, integrity, service, work ethic and leadership.

Since its inception, the S. Truett Cathy Scholar Award has awarded $425,000 in funds to previous Leadership Scholarship recipients. 

Editor's note: This was written by Tiffany Simmons.

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