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04/04/2022

NGA Foundation Introduces 2 New Legacy Scholarships

Deadline to apply is April 15
Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
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Applicants for NGA Foundation scholarships must be majoring in business, food management, IT or other areas of study leading to a grocery career.

The NGA Foundation is now offering two new legacy scholarships available to college students pursuing a career in the grocery industry, bringing the number of scholastic awards offered by the foundation to 13.

These new legacy scholarships are starting this year:

Ronnie Horton Legacy Scholarship: This award was created by Bill Kasko and Mike Cook, of the Frontline Source Group. Kasko and Cook both worked with and were mentored and inspired by Horton, a longtime employee of Tyler, Texas-based Brookshire Grocery Co., who died in 2003 after a 40-year career with the retailer. Applicants must write an essay about a person who inspires them, as part of the application process.

“About 40 years ago, I walked into a job interview for a bagger position at a Brookshire’s in Plano, Texas, and was met with the incredible person that was Mr. Horton,” recounted Kasko. “He was an intimidating presence, but also extremely respected among employees and peers. Mr. Horton instilled many different qualities in me and my fellow grocers, like how working hard is the only way to achieve success and that you must take care of those around you in order to take care of yourself.”

According to Kasko, he was reminded of Horton’s lasting impact years later when talking with Cook. “Together, we decided to make sure Mr. Horton was never forgotten by creating a scholarship fund for young grocery professionals to instill the values in as many students as possible, just as Mr. Horton had done for us,” added Kasko.

Ecolab Women in Grocery Scholarship: This award is sponsored by food safety and public health solution provider Ecolab to support women pursuing careers in the grocery industry.

“We are proud to partner with the NGA Foundation to promote women pursuing careers in the food retail industry,” said Adam Johnson, VP and general manager of St. Paul, Minn.-based Ecolab Global Food Retail Services. “As part of Ecolab’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion within our business and society, we are focused on helping women gain access to learning and development opportunities to advance and grow their career.”

The deadline to apply for either scholarship is Friday, April 15. Applications for and information about all the NGA Foundation scholarships are available online.

Those eligible to apply are college freshmen through postgraduate students enrolled in a U.S. or four-year degree-granting institution, including relevant postgraduate studies. Applicants must be majoring in business, food management, IT or other areas of study leading to a grocery career. Grocery industry experience is preferred but not required.

Any person can fund a legacy scholarship in their own name or the name of their organization or an inspiring individual. Legacy funders also may direct a scholarship to a certain group, or require applicants to answer additional questions or provide further information.

The NGA Foundation, the 501(c)3 nonprofit arm of the Washington, D.C.-based National Grocers Association, provides independent retailers with tools to develop more effective recruiting programs, enhance retention efforts and bolster professional leadership development opportunities for employers. 

Brookshire Grocery Co., which recently acquired 17 Reasor’s stores in Oklahoma, is a regional family-owned grocery business operating more than 180 stores in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. Its banners include Brookshire’s, Super 1 Foods, FRESH by Brookshire’s, Spring Market and, soon, Reasor's. The company is No. 62 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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