Finding Opportunity Through Education

Burger King scholarship program aids veterans

The Burger King McLamore Foundation has awarded nearly $2 million through its scholarship program to veterans and their families, including the child of a veteran among this year’s recipients.

BK McLamore Foundation LogoBurger King Scholars has awarded $40 million in scholarships, $4 million of which was issued last year. The majority of recipients are on a four-year university track, but the “second tier” of recipients attend community college, according to Amanda Israel, executive director of the foundation.

Israel said the foundation is happy to invest in veterans and their families through scholarship.

“I think veterans and what they do for our country is very important and incredible,” Israel said. “I think it’s just wonderful that our scholarship program can support their family or themselves if they receive a scholarship and help them to find future opportunities through education.”

The top honor is the $50,000 Whopper Award. The scholars program officially began in 2005 within the foundation, but Israel said it “truly” started in 2000 when a group of franchisees came together to honor the foundation’s co-founder Jim McLamore, who had a passion for education. Steve Lewis, a franchisee in the U.S. and co-chairman of the foundation, helped spearhead the scholarship program, according to Israel.

Scholarships, according to Israel, are “a little underrated,” but are a “crucial part of providing relief for families and students.”

“There’s something around $600 million out there every year available in scholarships. When you look at the amount of student debt, it’s up to $1.2 trillion,” Israel said. “It’s a really astounding number and that amount of debt really speaks to the fact that there’s not enough funding for students to successfully get a college degree.”

Israel said nearly 40,000 students have been impacted through the awards.

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This article was featured in the September/October 2019 issue of VFW Checkpoint. If you're a Post, District or Department Commander and aren't receiving the Checkpoint e-newsletter, please contact the VFW magazine at