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Chick-fil-A CEO Surprises Regent University Student with $25,000 Scholarship: 'Am I Dreaming?'

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A Virginia Chick-fil-A restaurant just made a college student's future a lot brighter by awarding her a $25,000 scholarship to continue her education at Regent University.

Peyton Edwards has worked for Chick-fil-A for the past eight years, starting as a Team Member at the franchise in Virginia Beach, VA to eventually working as the director of the restaurant.

Chick-fil-A CEO Andrew Cathy presented Peyton with the $25,000 scholarship Tuesday morning.

It was a surprise that Edwards never expected. 

"Is this real or am I dreaming?" she exclaimed. "I can't believe this is happening."

A marching band, cameras, and a host of Chick-fil-A employees and customers were there to also celebrate. 

"True Inspiration Scholarships" are awarded to postsecondary undergraduate or graduate students who show demonstrated care and service to the community. 

This year, Chick-fil-A is planning to award the "True Inspiration Scholarship" to just 14 of its team members nationwide.

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Natalie Cheney, Chick-fil-A Owner/Operator at Hilltop in Virginia Beach shared that it was Edwards' inspiring words, impactful community involvement, commitment to academic excellence, and dedication to customers that earned her the scholarship.

"Peyton is a remarkable person and a beloved member of our Chick-fil-A family. Together, our leadership team felt her qualities were the kind that our national office needed to be aware of," Cheney said. "Peyton works with the most giving heart. That kind of person is bound to achieve success. We're just thrilled to be a part of it."

Not only has the leadership team at Chick-fil-A recognized Edwards' dedication, but so has the staff at Regent University.  

"Peyton is a natural-born leader who seeks first to serve," said Dr. Josh McMullen, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. "Servant leadership is a core value that unifies every area of study at Regent University. As Peyton has demonstrated so well with her strong GPA and humility, a skilled person with a people-first approach can't help but stand out."

Edwards says she has plans to finish her degree in business management to either continue working at the Hilltop location or Chick-fil-A's corporate office. 

Her scholarship is the 100th $25,000 scholarship awarded to a Chick-fil-A Team Member.
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About The Author


Talia Wise has served as a multi-media producer for, CBN Newswatch, The Prayer Link, and CBN News social media outlets. Prior to joining CBN News she worked for Fox Sports Florida producing and reporting. Talia earned a master’s degree in journalism from Regent University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia.