Randolph Rusk, a McDonald’s employee from Ladysmith, VA, is the first recipient of a high school diploma in Virginia through McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity program. A graduation celebration with Randolph’s family, colleagues and McDonald’s representatives was held this past Saturday at the Ladysmith McDonald’s.
Randolph’s family, including his wife and two children, attended to celebrate his graduation in addition to his colleagues. The owner of the Ladysmith McDonald’s, local franchisee Craig Welburn, Sr. of Welburn Management, said a few words about Randolph’s success and presented him with his diploma. Randolph was also presented with personalized letters of congratulations from Senator Mark Warner and Senator Tim Kaine.
Randolph’s graduation celebration
How Archways to Opportunity helps
In 2015, McDonald’s created Archways to Opportunity, a comprehensive educational assistance strategy with multiple programs that give crew members who work at any U.S. McDonald’s restaurant an opportunity to grow and learn. The program that Randolph enrolled in allows crew members to earn a high school diploma at no cost.
Randolph is a Maintenance Lead who has been with the Ladysmith McDonald’s for almost four years. He always felt that not having a high school diploma was holding him back both personally and professionally. When he heard about McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity program, he felt compelled to apply.
As a child, Randolph was harshly bullied and his parent’s pulled him out of school for his protection. Now a husband and father of two, Randolph wanted to be someone his children could look up to—a symbol of the importance of education. “I wanted my children to look to me as an example,” he said. “From this experience, I want them to see that whatever you put your mind to, you can do.”
As a result of completing the program with honors and receiving his high school diploma, Randolph has inspired two of his fellow employees to enroll in Archways to Opportunity. Next, he is contemplating the college degree program through Archways to Opportunity and is looking forward to pursuing other career advancement opportunities with McDonald’s.