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Vinings Chick-fil-A employee wins top scholarship | People

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Vinings Chick-fil-A employee wins top scholarship
Vinings Chick-fil-A employee wins top scholarship

ATLANTA -- A young woman from Marietta is one of only 25 people nationwide to win the 2011 S. Truett Cathy Scholar Award.

Kali Jones has worked at the Vinings Chick-fil-A for more than four years. She received the award from her manager, Jason Bilotti.

"Kali is an exceptional team member with strong leadership skills, great customer service and a winning attitude," Bilotti said. "It's a pleasure to reward those efforts with this prestigious scholarship and to recognize her as a valuable asset not only to our restaurant, but also to our community."

Started in 1997, the S. Truett Cathy Scholar Award singles out 25 restaurant team members from among the previous year's recipients of the Chick-fil-A Leadership Scholarship to receive a second $1,000 scholarship. In 2010, more than 1,500 people earned the Chick-fil-A Leadership Scholarship.

Cathy and a panel of prominent Atlanta leaders selected Jones for the top scholarship because of her personal excellence in academics, community service and leadership.

"We're thrilled to be able to invest in the future of our team members by helping them continue their education," said Cathy, who turned 90 this year. "It has long been my goal to encourage youth such as Kali to strive for excellence and to lead by example. She truly exemplifies the work ethic, dedication and customer service that we believe sets the high standard for our more than 50,000 restaurant team members across the country."

Jones is studying history at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. She is a 2010 graduate of Whitefield Academy in Mableton, where she was a member of the National Honor Society, played varsity softball and served as editor of the school yearbook. She also volunteered more than 200 hours with the Young Life Work Crew and took a mission trip to Peru.

The S. Truett Cathy Scholar Award has given away more than $375,000 in scholarship funds. The Chick-fil-A Leadership Scholarship has awarded more than $27.3 million in $1,000 scholarships since 1973.

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