WaBa Grill, one of the nation’s leading healthy rice bowl chains, is proud to announce the recipients of its inaugural BKE Scholarships, which were announced this week at an awards luncheon in Anaheim Hills. The BKE Scholarship Foundation, named for WaBa Grill founders Brian Ham, Kyle Lee and Eric Lee, debuted earlier this year to support WaBa Grill restaurant employees at both corporate and franchised restaurants, and their families, in their educational pursuits. In total, WaBa Grill awarded $22,000 in scholarships to 11 deserving recipients, with each honoree receiving $2,000 to be applied to college or vocational school.
“From our many dedicated franchisees, to those working in our restaurants, WaBa Grill recognizes and appreciates the important role each of our team members plays in our success, especially our ability to authentically connect with our guests to provide a genuinely pleasant dining experience,” says Andrew Kim, WaBa Grill CEO. “This is a modest start, but we are committed to building and growing this scholarship program so that we can continue to encourage more team members in the WaBa Grill System to pursue their academic and professional goals. Funding these scholarships is particularly meaningful as it acknowledges dedication and perseverance and helps foster the personal development of our team members – one of many core values that have been folded into the fabric of our brand DNA since our inception by our founders.”
WaBa Grill’s inaugural class of BKE Scholarship recipients were recognized during a ceremony at company headquarters. They were selected via an independently vetted application process open to all WaBa Grill employees at both corporate and franchised restaurants, and their children under 24. Nine BKE Scholarship recipients work at the franchised restaurant level while two work at WaBa Grill’s Franchise Support Center. Their diverse areas of study include Education, Computer Science, Psychology, Kinesiology, Mathematics, Chemistry, Dental Hygiene, Information Technology, Political Science and Medicine. WaBa Grill expects to continue funding the BKE Scholarships in the future, with the goal of increasing its grant total to $30,000 in 2024.
The 11 deserving 2023 BKE Scholarship recipients are:
Emmanuel A. of Huntington Beach, California
Dextrel C. of West Covina, California
Fernando C. of San Bernardino, California
Celeste E. of San Bernardino, California
Kiana G. of Moreno, California
Nhu N. of Redlands, California
Ashni P. of Chino, California
Bryan S. of La Puente, California
Binh T. of Redlands, California
Jasmine T. of Los Angeles, California
Danny T. of Baldwin Park, California
Today, with nearly 200 locations throughout California and Arizona, and an innovative, segment-leading menu that caters to any taste, appetite or dietary preference, WaBa Grill is helping guests live their best life! All WaBa Grill locations are now open for dine-in and takeout, and orders also may be placed via any of the chain’s third-party delivery partners. Additionally, guests can order via the WaBa Rewards App or company website.