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Regent University Student holding a large $25,000 Scholarship check with the CEO of Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A CEO Surprises Regent University Student with a $25,000 Scholarship

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (Mar. 12, 2024) – Today, Regent University student Peyton Edwards was awarded the $25,000 True Inspiration™ Scholarship from her employer, Chick-fil-A, making her the restaurant’s 100th scholarship recipient.

While working the morning shift, Edwards appeared from the kitchen and entered the lobby of her Chick-fil-A, spotting her family members, dear friends and even her pastor in attendance.

Peyton was dumbfounded when she recognized Chick-fil-A CEO Andrew Cathy. He then gifted her with kind words, a new laptop, and an oversized check for $25,000, declaring her a True Inspiration™ Scholar.

Edwards was nearly speechless as she realized that the cameras, the marching band, and the multitude of Chick-fil-A employees and community members were there to celebrate her.

“Is this real or am I dreaming?” said Edwards. “I can’t believe this is happening.”

Edwards, a Chick-fil-A employee for eight years, initially sent her CEO a note of gratitude, sharing her moving story of childhood challenge and loss, as well as her life of triumph as a director at the Hilltop Chick-fil-A.

Her inspiring words, impactful community involvement, commitment to academic excellence, and dedication to cheerful service impressed Chick-fil-A leadership and earned her this shining moment.

“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,” said Natalie Cheney, Chick-fil-A Owner/Operator at Hilltop in Virginia Beach. “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.”

Edwards’ Chick-fil-A supervisors felt that her investment in the well-being of others made her more than qualified for this life-changing award. It was that and more that earned her attention on the campus of Regent University where she is studying Business Management.

“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.”

This year, Chick-fil-A is planning to award this True Inspiration™ Scholarship to just 14 of its team members nationwide. The scholarship can be applied to any area of study, at any accredited institution.

Chick-fil-A stands committed to helping its employees pursue their academic goals and strengthen their career opportunities.

About Regent University

Founded in 1977, Regent University is America’s premier Christian university, with more than 13,000 students studying on its 70-acre campus in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and online around the world. The university offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in more than 150 areas of study including business, communication and the arts, counseling, cybersecurity, divinity, education, government, law, leadership, nursing, healthcare, and psychology. Regent University has been ranked the #1 Best Accredited Online College in the United States (, 2020), the #1 Safest College Campus in Virginia (YourLocalSecurity, 2021), and the #1 Best Online Bachelor’s Program in Virginia for 12 years in a row (U.S. News & World Report, 2024).