Kirsten Hanson never had the opportunity to experience what it felt like to be a high school graduate due to personal reasons. The 22-year-old has been a McDonald’s employee for the past five …
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Kirsten Hanson never had the opportunity to experience what it felt like to be a high school graduate due to personal reasons. The 22-year-old has been a McDonald’s employee for the past five years. her work schedule has been demanding. There are times when she will close the restaurant, and then have to come back at 4 a.m. the next day, making her academic aspirations even more difficult.
Hanson recently achieved her dream of becoming a high school graduate through McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity program. The program helps McDonald’s employees achieve academic success, whether that be by helping to improve English skills, or earning a high school diploma, or a college degree. On April 8, a McDonald’s in Golden celebrated Hanson’s graduation as well as Kay-Cee Antill’s graduation from Colorado Tech University.
“I felt like I was really smart growing up, and I felt like I deserved (a high school degree). Going back for me was a very big personal accomplishment, and it was something I wanted to do prove to myself that I can accomplish, and I did,” said Hanson.
Antill wrapped up her time at Colorado Tech University with a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management degree. She has dreams of working in a hospital in pediatrics. Antill believes that she wouldn’t have been able to finish college without the assistance of the Archways to Opportunity program.
“It’s such a relief to be done, but I’m really excited, and I’m proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish,” Antill said.
McDonald’s says 36,000 of its employees in the country have enrolled in Archways to Opportunity since it started in 2015. Among those in attendance for the celebration was Lakewood Mayor Adam Paul.
“It’s been an amazing impact that Archways to Opportunity has made. These individuals have so many opportunities after this to do more in the store and more outside the restaurant as well,” said Erika Bucaro, the supervisor of education programs for McDonald’s. “For us it’s the people. Our goal is to help them with their dreams, their goals, their aspirations and to keep them going.”
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