College Dreams: Fueled by Whataburger
Whataburger awards more than $1 million in scholarships
Their life dreams are as varied as the choices on a Whataburger menu: a budding cinematographer, a future biomedical engineer, an accountant in training, a pediatrician to be, an upcoming environmental scientist.
Their connection? Whataburger’s Family Foundation is helping pave the path to their goals with scholarships of up to $4,000 for the coming academic year.
In total, the foundation is awarding more than $1 million in scholarships to its Family Members.
For Family Members in the class of 2020, who have been true front-line heroes working through a pandemic even as their schooling went virtual, the good news couldn’t have been more welcome.
“I just feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders,” said Abcde Espinoza, a Team Member at a Whataburger restaurant in San Antonio.
Abcde, who plans to go to Texas Tech and pursue a pre-law degree, shares that sense of excitement with almost 300 Whataburger Family Members from Florida to Arizona who were awarded scholarships to pursue their dreams. Here are a few of their stories.
Heading to: Colorado State University to study Biomedical Engineering
Zachary, who says he wants to research the science of human motion and brain activity to make better prosthetics available, credits this scholarship as helping make his “dream school” affordable. “Now I can go there,” he says.
Heading to: Arizona State University to study Kinesiology
Daniel, who hopes to become a physical therapist, credits his mom for his determination. ”My mother always pushes me to strive for my dreams and work hard. She wasn’t given as many opportunities as I was given, and that has humbled me to not take for granted any chances at success I am given.”
Heading to: Sam Houston State University to study Computer Science
Chandrell, the fourth in a family of eight children, plans to keep working at Whataburger through college. When she found out she got the scholarship, “I screamed!” she says. “The first people I told were my three older siblings. It was really tough working and still accomplishing my high school goals.”
Heading to: Blinn College or Victoria College to study Accounting
Team Leader Samuel got the news about his scholarship surrounded by Whataburger family. “I was sitting down at work to eat, and I saw the email that I’d won a scholarship,” he says. “It made my day.”
Heading to: University of Texas at Arlington to study Biology.
Caroline has her sights set on becoming a pediatrician to help her community thrive. “My mom has taught me to use my strengths to help others,” she says. “She has been my biggest positive influence, and I thank her for that every day.”
Unit 901, Magnolia, Texas
Heading to: Sam Houston State or Prairie View A&M to study Psychology
Yamileth will be the first in her family to go to a 4-year college. She credits her cross-country coach for keeping her focused. “Coach Sweat has been an amazing person who’s pushed me to do better in high school,” she says.
Heading to: Texas Tech University to study Criminal Justice and Pre-Law
“Coming from a family of immigrants and seeing how they struggled made me want to help others in the same situation.,’ says Abcde. “There are a lot of injustices happening in the world, and I want to be one of the reasons why there is a change.”
Unit 327, San Antonio
Heading to: The University of Texas at Austin to study Nursing
“I want to help people see the light in the world,” Katie says. “That is why I am so grateful for the job I have now. Thank you so much, Whataburger, for giving me tools to approach difficult situations with a smile, even though it might just be about a burger.”
Whataburger Family Foundation scholarships are just one way Whataburger cares for its Family Members. In addition to these annual awards, Whataburger is committed to training and developing the next generation of leaders for the hospitality industry by ensuring all Family Members have the chance to grow and build their careers within the company. Learn more here!