The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced today that Sade Donald, a Chicago-area high school student, has been awarded the first Stephen P. Donatone Endowed Scholarship in the amount of $10,000. The scholarship is endowed within the NRAEF’s scholarship program, which awarded $1.4 million to students last year.
The Stephen P. Donatone Scholarship was established last year in honor of the late Steve Donatone, husband of Lorna Donatone, chief operating officer for Sodexo North America, president for Sodexo Education and treasurer for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.
“Our family is thrilled to have Sade as the first recipient of the Stephen P. Donatone Endowed Scholarship. Our goal when we decided to establish a scholarship in Steve’s memory, was that it would benefit a student who has overcome significant obstacles in his/her life and can articulate a vision for his/her future that includes hospitality and service to the community,” said Lorna. “This is exactly what Sade exemplifies. She exudes a passion for learning and for helping to better her community. I could not be more proud and excited for her as she embarks on her college career.”
An active member in her community, Sade is a model character for high school students nationwide. Even while overcoming numerous obstacles, she has been a leader in and out of the classroom. She graduated with a 3.57 GPA while simultaneously working to address social ills in her community. Sade will begin her education as an honor student at a four-year culinary program in the fall.
During her high school career, Sade was a student in the ProStart program. With national and local support from industry members, educators, the NRAEF and state restaurant associations, ProStart is taught in more than 1,700 schools to nearly 100,000 students across 48 states, Guam and on Department of Defense military bases. For more information on the ProStart program, visit NRAEF.org/ProStart or find us on Twitter or Facebook.
“We are pleased to recognize Sade as a Stephen P. Donatone scholarship recipient,” said Rob Gifford, executive vice president, strategic operations and philanthropy for the National Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. “Lorna generously gave what may be the largest gift ever made by a single individual to the NRAEF in recent history. This scholarship will have a tremendous impact on students who choose to pursue a career in the restaurant and hospitality industry.”
As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the NRAEF exists to enhance the restaurant industry’s service to the public through education, community engagement and promotion of career opportunities. The NRAEF works to attract, develop and retain a career-oriented professional workforce for the restaurant industry. The restaurant and foodservice industry comprises 980,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of more than 13 million employees, making it one of the nation’s largest employers. For more information on the NRAEF, visit NRAEF.org.