This week, the Chick-fil-A Foundation kicked off its partnership with Atlanta Public Schools through the adoption of Booker T. Washington High School. Washington High School-Early College and the Chick-fil-A Foundation are partnering together to develop a mentoring program that will ensure that each student graduating in the Legacy Class of 2013 has a solid plan for the future.
On Wednesday, December 19, 2012, several students from Washington High visited Chick-fil-A headquarters for a “Corporate Day” and an opportunity to meet with their mentors. The students were graciously greeted by the Chick-fil-A staff as they entered the front doors of the building, followed by a backstage tour of the facility. During the day students spent time with their mentors and experienced “A Day in the Life” with their designated staff member.
“I had the pleasure of taking my mentee to a meeting with the design and construction department,” explained Darrlynn Brister, Associate Director of External Relations at the Chick-fil-A Foundation. “She had a chance to really see what goes into the process of picking out a site for the store, the meetings that are held with various government officials and the things that go into play before a Chick-fil-A restaurant can be placed in a city.”
The mentorship program will help 12th grade students at Washington High enhance relationships, network, and get a glimpse of working in the corporate world.
“I am gaining a mentor who can lead me and help me prepare for college and the real world,” said Nickolas Alexander, a student at Washington High.
The mentorship program is near and dear to many of the mentees, but for Sonya Collier, Sr. Supervisor-Supply Chain at Chick-fil-A, the program hits close to home. As a graduate of Booker T. Washington and a former resident of Southwest Atlanta, Collier is dedicated to seeing each of the mentees succeed and learn valuable information and life lessons as participants in the program.
“I consider these students my children,” she said. “This is important to me because I want to give back and I want to pour into the lives of these young people so they know that success is attainable and they can do anything they set their minds to.”
Rodney Bullard, Executive Director of the Chick-fil-A Foundation, says the foundation is dedicated to helping young people have the opportunity to be all that they were created to be.
“We want to do everything we can to support them,” he explained. “Perhaps this experience with a mentor will broaden their horizons. We are happy to provide this experience and we are very excited about this partnership with Atlanta Public Schools and with Booker T. Washington High School.”