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Cumming Chick-fil-A Team Member Wins Scholarship Award

The West Forsyth graduate is one of only 25 winners nationwide to be honored with the award.

Thomas Keller, a 2010 West Forsyth High School graduate, is the 2012 recipient of the S. Truett Cathy Scholar Award. 

Chick-fil-A Founder and CEO Truett Cathy selected Keller as one of only 25 winners from across the U.S. to be awarded the food chain's top scholarship program.

Keller, who has worked at the Chick-fil-A restaurant located at 653 Atlanta Road in Cumming for more than three years, is currently studying Marketing at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Ga. Keller was active in Boy Scouts of America, and during his high school years at West, he participated in football and baseball activities. He also volunteered with the St. Brendan Catholic Community, and the Sort and Bag service project. 

“Thomas personifies the qualities the S. Truett Cathy Scholar Award was created to recognize,” said Mike Ridzon, franchised operator of the Lanier Crossing location. “He leads by example in our restaurant and community. I am delighted that his hard work, positive attitude and leadership have been rewarded with this prestigious scholarship.”

Ridzon recently presented the award to Keller. 

Cathy, 91, whose life-long support of higher education was formalized into the Chick-fil-A Leadership Scholarship program in 1973, personally selected the recipients alongside a blue-ribbon panel of Atlanta-area civic and business leaders. The 25 winners are chosen annually out of the chain’s Leadership Scholarship winners, all of whom are employed at a Chick-fil-A restaurant. This $1,000 scholarship recognizes team members who excel in academics, community service and leadership.

“For several generations now it has been a priority for me to encourage and support our team members as they seek to further their educations,” said Cathy, who continues to serve as CEO of the Atlanta-based chain he founded.

“I am thrilled to recognize youth such as Keller whose dedication, pursuit of excellence and personal character exemplify the traits we want to foster in the leaders of tomorrow.”

Since its inception, the S. Truett Cathy Scholar Award has awarded $400,000 in funds to previous Leadership Scholarship recipients. Founded in 1973, Chick-fil-A’s Leadership Scholarship program has awarded more than $30 million in $1,000 scholarships. It is projected that Chick-fil-A scholarship recipients have attended one of more than 3,100 institutions across the country.

Editor's Note: S. Truett Cathy's net worth is $1.3 billion as of March 12, 2012, according to Forbes.

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