By Greg Gelpi
When she got a call from her boss, she worried that it could be news she was fired, but learned instead that she was awarded a $1,000 scholarship.
Amanda Boshears, a Jonesboro resident, was one of 25 winners selected from more than 40,000 Chick-fil-A employees for the S. Truett Cathy Scholar Award, a scholarship named after the company's founder and given to employees of the fast food chain.
Boshears also received the $1,000 Chick-fil-A Leadership Scholarship as a senior at Lovejoy High School.
Working for Chick-fil-A for four years, she said she chose to work for the restaurant because of the opportunities the company offered her, the family of employees and friendliness of the atmosphere.
"Amanda demonstrates a work ethic that is phenomenal," said Robert Negrin, the manager of the Jonesboro Chick-fil-A Dwarf House where Boshears works. "She really is just the all-American teenager."
Boshears has the best attitude and is always positive and smiling, Negrin said.
"I wake up every morning and figure that life is short so I might as well make the most of it," Boshears said. "I figure a smile can change a day."
She worked as a teacher cadet in high school because of her love of children, but took that love in a different direction when she entered college.
The State University of West Georgia rising sophomore is studying nursing, specifically pediatrics.
"I knew my heart wasn't set on teaching, but I knew I wanted to work with children," Boshears said.
She returns to Jonesboro during winter and summer breaks and even some weekends to continue working for the Dwarf House, balancing work and school.
"It's really easy when you have a boss who will schedule you on the weekends," Boshears said.
It's her sacrifice and commitment to work that sets her apart, Negrin said.
"That is what really separates good from great," he said. "Amanda is just going to do well no matter what she does."
Boshears attributed her success to her parents, friends and family constantly pushing her and giving her support.
The Lovejoy graduate is the first from that restaurant, which opened in 1985, to receive the award and the 43rd in the state.
"We are fully committed to improving people's lives, starting with our youth who are our greatest investment to a strong future," Cathy said in a statement. "We provide tools that will help them achieve excellence in their lives. For the past 31 years, we feel fortunate to have been able to have an impact on more than 18,700 of our team members' lives in the area of continued education."
A panel of five judges from outside the company judged the nominations and chose Boshears as one of 25 in the country.
Chick-fil-A has committed more than $19.7 million in scholarships since its scholarship programs began in 1973.