The Tijuana Flats Just in Queso Foundation selected five employees who best exhibited Tijuana Flats’ core values with an emphasis on community. The honorees each received $1,500 scholarships towards their college tuition for the upcoming semester. 

The Tijuana Flats Just In Queso Foundation awards students with scholarships twice per year. Additionally, all recipients will be recognized on Tijuana Flats’ social media outlets, receive a private check presentation with regional vice presidents, area supervisors, and general managers as well as school supplies to ensure their continued academic success.

The five employees chosen had to submit an application with required criteria to include employment with Tijuana Flats for at least one year, current enrollment in a college institution, volunteer service, and a 3.0 GPA. An outside panel of judges reviewed essays from over 40 employees and selected the winners.

Scholarships were awarded to the following employees:

  • Lauren Reilly- Tijuana Flats Apopka, FL location attending Seminole State College
  • Matt Conzola- Tijuana Flats Raleigh, NC location attending UNC-Wilmington
  • Michaela McConnon- Tijuana Flats’ Support Center attending Seminole State College
  • Ashley Stockhill- Tijuana Flats Tallahassee, FL location attending Florida State University
  • Megan Claire- Tijuana Flats Tampa, FL location attending University of South Florida

“I always strive to better myself and work hard to achieve quality of life I want. I am always educating myself and want to further my education so I can make a great impact on the children that I teach. Quality, one of Tijuana Flats’ core values, has taught me to strive to be the best person I can be,” says Lauren Reilly.

“I currently just finished my second year at Tijuana Flats and my first year of college. I plan on taking the love I have for helping others further and attending medical school. I have the greatest support system at my store. They continue to push me and give me more shifts to ensure I am able to pay my way through college. This award just wouldn’t be for me but for my store as well,” says Matt Conzola.

“Starting out as a cashier, I am blessed to now be in the accounting department in the Tijuana Flats Support Center even before receiving my college degree. I dealt with many financial struggles after high school, leading me to only finish one semester of college. I have always pushed myself to finish what I have started so after years of time off, I finally dedicated my free time to do just that,” says Michaela McConnon.

“Tijuana Flats constantly pushes me to do my best in school and at work. This scholarship would help me tremendously not only financially, but it would also give me more of a reason to work towards my future career goals. School has always been the number one priority for me.  I am scheduled to graduate early, but due to my love for school and the medical field, I have decided to pick up a minor in child and maternal health care,” says Megan Claire.

“I am a passionate person and I truly care for those around me. This is why Tijuana Flats is a perfect fit as a job for me because they genuinely care about their employees. My goal in life is to be a person that others can turn to in their time of need. With a degree in nursing, I will be one step closer to goal. This scholarship will also help ease the burden of student loans I have collected while trying to pay for college on my own,” says Ashley Stockhill.

The employee scholarship program began in 2002.  To date, the Tijuana Flats Just in Queso Foundation has provided over $30,000 in scholarships to assist employees in continuing their educations.

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