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Daily CSR

Daily CSR
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Empowering KFC Employees: The Impact of the KFC Foundation’s No-Cost College Initiative and Other Philanthropic Programs


The KFC Foundation is marking a significant milestone as it recognizes the inaugural graduate from its no-cost college initiative. Kevon Pascoe, who initially joined his local KFC outlet part-time while also serving as an active-duty logistics officer in the Marine Corps, has now obtained his Master’s degree in Business Administration from Western Governors University, courtesy of this program.

The KFC Foundation’s no-cost college initiative, in collaboration with Western Governors University (WGU), offers KFC restaurant employees* full tuition coverage for their degree at WGU. The program is open to all eligible KFC employees from their first day at work. WGU’s rolling admissions policy allows KFC restaurant employees to enroll whenever they wish and start their online courses at their convenience.

Pascoe, originally from Kingston, Jamaica, moved to the United States with his family in 2010 in search of better opportunities. He was the first in his family to earn a bachelor’s degree, graduating with honors from Norwich University, the Military College of Vermont. He then completed leadership training through the United States Marine Corps to become a certified logistics officer.

In February 2023, Pascoe started working part-time at a KFC in Jacksonville, North Carolina, after learning about the no-cost college initiative.

“It all stemmed from a friend whose mom is a general manager at the KFC near base,” Pascoe said. “I was interested in earning a master’s degree and she informed me that by working at KFC, I could earn my degree for free. She offered me a night position and I enrolled in courses almost immediately.”

“Eight months later, Pascoe walked the stage to receive his diploma at WGU’s commencement ceremony in Las Vegas, Nevada on Friday, October 27 but his educational journey doesn’t stop there. Pascoe is starting another master’s in management and leadership and hopes to earn a doctorate next. “Growing up, we lived in poverty. When I got my undergraduate degree, that sparked a lot of interest in my siblings to earn a degree,” said Pascoe.

“I want to show them and those in a similar position that we were, that our upbringings don’t define who we are and show them the heights of how far they can go.”

“We are immensely proud of the transformative impact our tuition-free college program is having on the lives of KFC restaurant employees. This program is not just about education; it’s about empowerment and opportunity,” said Emma Horn, Executive Director of the KFC Foundation. “Kevon embodies this so strongly and we can’t wait to see the further impact he makes in the world.”

The KFC Foundation’s commitment to supporting, empowering, and bringing joy to KFC restaurant employees and their communities extends beyond offering no-cost college education. The Foundation’s various philanthropic initiatives assist restaurant employees in obtaining their GED, securing up to $20,000 in scholarships for the two- or four-year college, trade school, or graduate school of their choice, developing personal and professional skills, receiving support during a crisis, establishing an emergency savings fund, and contributing to non-profits in their community.

Western Governors University is an accredited online institution committed to making higher education as accessible as possible. It stands out as a leading educational institution where students gain knowledge and progress through competency-based education. This approach allows students to control the pace of their learning, potentially saving them time as they progress through their degree program.