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:
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:
“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.”