The Chick-fil-A Foundation announced the recipients of its inaugural True Inspiration Awards, a $1.1 million package of grants that awards funds to local organizations across the country that foster leadership in children and was inspired by the generosity of Chick-fil-A's late founder S. Truett Cathy.
The True Inspiration Awards, which range in amounts from $10,000 to $100,000, were granted to 25 organizations across the country based on local community impact in three categories:
· Emerging Leader Development:Organizations focused on character development, positive community and cultural involvement, and effective civic engagement
· Youth Entrepreneurship:Organizations committed to developing business knowledge, entrepreneurial skills, and financial literacy
· Innovative Education:Organizations dedicated to improving teaching and learning through ground-breaking practices and visionary leadership
Organizations either applied or were nominated by Chick-fil-A restaurant franchisees based on the organization's local work in the three categories. The Chick-fil-A Foundation evaluated the caliber of each organization's work in these categories, as well as their operational health, financial stability, and transparency. The 25 inaugural award winners will be honored at a celebratory event in Atlanta this fall.
"Every 26 seconds a student drops out of high school in the United States," says Rodney Bullard, executive director of the Chick-fil-A Foundation. "We want to invest in youth at an early age as well as the organizations that are empowering students to dream big and ensure lifelong success. This is just one way that we are honoring the legacy of our founder, S. Truett Cathy, who dedicated his life to serving his community and helping young people."
In addition to these categories, one winning organization was recognized as a True Inspiration Honoree, a special honor reserved for an organization or individual that embodies the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of Truett Cathy. The recipient of this inaugural award is the Keith Boyd Foundation. Boyd, a 10-year-old small business owner with nonverbal cerebral palsy and no use of his arms, legs, or mouth, is using his Tulsa, Oklahoma–based lemonade stands to raise awareness and resources for his tuition-free special needs alma mater.