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Golden Opportunity: Cincinnati Students Demonstrate Impact Of Archways To Opportunity Program

October 2, 2018

Katie Blankenship Headshot

For many college students, the back-to-school routine includes figuring out how they will afford classes. For McDonald’s restaurant employees balancing school and work, the Archways to Opportunity program makes that routine a little easier.

Alyssia Kelley knows very well the impact that Archways to Opportunity can have on a student’s pursuit of their dreams. The Cincinnati-area student, who has worked at a restaurant in owner/operator Katie Blankenship’s organization for seven years, received tuition assistance through the Archways program that helped her finish her Bachelor’s in Social Work at Xavier University in May. She plans to apply for more assistance as she earns her Master’s in Social Work at Northern Kentucky University.

Kelley benefitted from a program that received an infusion of new investment, to the tune of $150 million over the next five years. Employees who have worked in a restaurant for at least 90 days at an average of 15 hours per week can now earn up to $2,500 (for crew) and $3,000 (for managers) in tuition assistance each year.

Another Blankenship employee, Maria Guadalupe Arroyo Guszman, took a different track to enhance her education: She learned English as a second language through the English Under the Arches program. Guszman, who is now an assistant manager, says the program helped her build confidence and better communication skills. She’s now working on getting her high school diploma through another facet of the Archways to Opportunity program. Her long-term dream: to run her own restaurant as a general manager.

Alyssia Kelley

Most McDonald’s restaurants are operated by independent franchisees who are independent employers, and set their own employment policies and practices, including pay and benefits for the people working in their restaurants. McDonald's does not control the independent franchisees’ employment policies and practices and does not employ those working at franchised restaurants. The benefits described here are available at McDonald’s-owned restaurants and the restaurants of participating franchisees.