• 73°

LRA Education Foundation announces 2021 Class of LRAEF Scholars

METAIRIE— The Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation (LRAEF) is pleased to announce its 2021 class of LRAEF Scholars. Since 2009, the LRAEF has provided financial support for qualified individuals interested in furthering their education in culinary, hospitality or related industries. Since its inception, the LRAEF Scholarship Fund has awarded over $640,000 to more than 180 individuals. This year, in its continuing partnership with Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers and resulting from its generous financial contribution, we present the first class of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers LRAEF Scholars and a total value of $45,000 in scholarships to 19 students.

“Congratulations to all of the Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers LRAEF Scholars,” said Alan Guilbeau, 2021 LRAEF Chair. “It’s exciting to witness these individuals choosing the restaurant and hospitality industry, especially given the challenges of the past year. They are vital to future of Louisiana restaurants, and I wish them much success.”

Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers has served as the title sponsor of the Louisiana ProStart Invitational for the last three years. As the 2021 Invitational was canceled due to COVID restrictions, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers chose to enhance their philanthropic impact by directing these dollars to the LRAEF Scholars Program.

The LRAEF’s most prestigious award, the Jim Funk Scholarship, provided this year through a gift from New Orleans Fairgrounds, is named for the former LRA President and CEO who guided the creation of the LRAEF during his 30 years with the organization. This year’s Jim Funk Scholar is Jamie Warrick, a non-traditional college student who began her studies later in life and is a full-time working mother interested in food production and manufacturing. A graduate of Warren Easton Sr. High School, Warrick is currently a junior at the University of Holy Cross College where she is studying food service and is projected to graduate May 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Food Science. Warrick is also the sous chef at Manning’s and was a 2020 LRAEF Scholar.

The 2021 Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers LRAEF Scholars are being presented to 17 students who intend to pursue a career in the restaurant, foodservice, tourism or hospitality industry. This year’s LRAEF Scholars are:

  • Morgan Boquet, graduate of Lakeshore High School, attending Nicholls State University Chef John Folse Culinary Institute (B.S., Culinary Arts)
  • Carmella Bosco, graduate of Lakeshore High School, attending Nicholls State University Chef John Folse Culinary Institute (B.S., Culinary Arts)
  • Jason Danna, graduate of Chalmette High School, attending Nunez Community College (A.S., Culinary Arts)
  • Gaye Kramer, graduate of West Nassau Senior High, attending Delgado Community College (A.S., Hospitality Management and Tourism)
  • Peyton Spurgeon, graduate of Buckeye High School, attending Northwestern State University of Louisiana (B.A., Hospitality Management and Tourism)
  • Kacey Lyon, graduate of Academy of Our Lady, attending Louisiana College (B.A., Business Administration)
  • Abbey Warren, graduate of Ruston High School, attending Nicholls State University Chef John Folse Culinary Institute (B.S., Culinary Arts)
  • Angela Wilson, graduate of Hahnville High School, attending Northwestern State University of Louisiana (Doctorate in Education)
  • Brock Nichols, graduate of Sulphur High School, attending Nicholls State University Chef John Folse Culinary Institute (B.S., Culinary Arts)
  • Zoe Foster, graduate of Franklin Parish High School, attending Nicholls State University Chef John Folse Culinary Institute (B.S., Culinary Arts)
  • Kierra Linden, graduate of Midland High School, attending Northwestern State University of Louisiana (B.A. Hospitality Management and Tourism)
  • Savannah Flores, graduate of Archbishop Chapelle, attending University of New Orleans (B.A. Hospitality Management and Tourism)
  • Sarah Gassenberger, graduate of Academy of Our Lady, attending University of Holy Cross (B.S., Culinology)
  • Rebecca Gilson, graduate of Fontainebleau High School, attending Nicholls State University Chef John Folse Culinary Institute (B.S., Culinary Arts)
  • Rachael Jefferson, graduate of Normal Community West High School, attending Delgado Community College (A.S., Culinary Arts)
  • Emma Sedgebeer, graduate of Fontainebleau High School, attending Nicholls State University Chef John Folse Culinary Institute (B.S., Culinary Arts)
  • Adelaide Speyrer, graduate of Hahnville High School, attending University of New Orleans (B.A., Hospitality Management and Tourism)

The Louisiana Seafood Scholarship was established through a generous long-term gift from the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board. This is awarded to qualified applicants who illustrate interest in cultivating, protecting and promoting Louisiana Seafood. This year’s Louisiana Seafood Scholar is:

  • Hunter Perk, graduate of Edgar Douglas White Catholic High School, attending Nicholls State University Chef John Folse Culinary Institute (B.S., Culinary Arts).

“During the last year our LRAEF Scholars have demonstrated their tenacity and resilience, adjusting to virtual learning, for example,” explained Stan Harris, President and CEO, Louisiana Restaurant Association. “Their continued commitment to furthering their education and to consider a career in the restaurant and hospitality industry is fantastic. The LRAEF being able to provide financial support at this time in their development is especially meaningful.”

The LRA Education Foundation is a 501c3 tax exempt organization that is the philanthropic partner of the Louisiana Restaurant Association. The Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation mission is to enhance the industry’s service to the public through education, community engagement, workforce development and promotion of career opportunities. ProStart is a two-year restaurant management and culinary arts curriculum in more than 55 high schools statewide. ProStart is a trademark of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

Founded by Todd Graves in 1996, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers has more than 530 restaurants in 28 states, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates with multiple new restaurants under construction. The company has ONE LOVE®—quality chicken finger meals – and is continually recognized for its unique business model and customer satisfaction. Raising Cane’s vision is to grow Restaurants, serving our Customers, all over the world and be the brand for quality chicken finger meals, a great Crew, cool Culture and active Community involvement.