Inside Chick-fil-A

This Chick-fil-A True Inspiration Scholar is getting an education so she can help orphans have successful adoption stories — just like hers.

Adopted at age 16, Ilona Penner left her native Ukraine — and the orphanage where she’d lived for five years — for a chance at a new life, and an education, in the U.S.

Ilona worked hard to learn English, and graduated in the top 10 percent of her high school class.

“It’s been a tough transition, but she kept a positive attitude and has been goal-oriented and driven,” says her adoptive mom, Kelly Penner.

Now starting her second year at Liberty University, Ilona is studying International Business and Marketing. She wants to one day open an international adoption center to help orphans from foreign countries — and their adoptive families — work through the many challenges that come with that transition.

But, first, she has to save up enough money to finish college. 

Enter the Chick-fil-A® Remarkable Futures scholarships. Since 1973, Chick-fil-A has been awarding scholarships to team members to help them pursue their dreams of higher education. Each year, eligible team members can apply to receive a Leadership Scholarship of $2,500 based on their leadership, academic achievement and community involvement. Twelve outstanding team members who have these three qualities plus a demonstrated financial need are awarded a True Inspiration Scholarship — totaling up to $25,000.

This past May, Jack Stefano, Franchise Operator of the Chick-fil-A in Hanover, Penn., where Ilona works, surprised her with the big news: She was one of this year’s $25,000 True Inspiration Scholarship winners.

Watch the video to see how Ilona reacted to receiving this life-changing news. (Hint: Grab a tissue!)

And, be on the lookout for the great things this True Inspiration Scholar is going to do. Her journey has already been an inspiration -- and we know that Ilona Penner is on her way to creating a #remarkablefuture.

Are you ready to begin your remarkable future with Chick-fil-A? Click here for more information and to find your nearest Chick-fil-A location.

Tagged In: Chick-fil-A Foundation Remarkable Futures Scholarship Community