By DARRIN HEATHERLY
Chipotle Mexican Grill owner and restaurateur Samuel Foster knows the road to success can be full of barriers. After turning his life around, Foster is giving his employees an opportunity he never had.
Foster is the owner of the Chipotle restaurant in Sandy Springs, Ga. Before that, the 24-year-old Foster was struggling to get his life together. He was born in Austell, Georgia and dropped out of high school when he was 17. He says it was a decision he regrets.
In February 2010, when he was 20, Foster was arrested on a drunken driving charge. He served eight months in the Cobb County jail and one year of probation. His license was also revoked.
“It was a life-changing experience,” said Foster. “I made some mistakes that I wish I never did, but it’s making me a better person. My mom taught me how to learn from my mistakes.”
In 2012, Foster received his GED certificate. He applied to college, but found a home and a career in food service.
“Education is so important,” said Foster. “ Never give up on an opportunity to learn. People don’t always get second chances like me, and I’m truly blessed because of that. I want to give my employees the opportunity to go to college.”
Foster and Chipotle are teaming up to award an employee $1,000 toward a college education. The Chipotle Honor Scholarship rewards one employee of outstanding character and work ethics.
Henrica Brown is one of three employees who are eligible for the scholarship. She is excited for an opportunity to go to college.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Brown. “Sam is always pushing for us to go to college and this scholarship is going to help one of us achieve our dreams.”
Foster has been working for Chipotle Mexican Grill since 2012. He continues to promote the importance of education to his employees.
Foster says that putting his past behind him and working hard got him recognized by management. He was promoted to an ownership position in 2013 and now oversees three restaurants in Georgia.
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