Muskegon Chronicle:

Alicia Carlston and her mother did a little dance around the kitchen when they heard that the local Burger King employee would be receiving a $5,000 scholarship to continue her education.

Carlston is one of five Muskegon-area employees of Quality Dining, Inc., a local Burger King franchisee, that received $5,000 continuing education scholarships from the James W. McLamore Family Foundation. Another 15 were awarded $1,000 gifts through the Burger King Have It Your Way Foundation.

“I was very excited when I found out,” said Carlston, who has worked at the Burger King, 3436 Henry, in Norton Shores, for three years.

The 2006 Mona Shores graduate had also been taking courses at Muskegon Community College, but she took last semester off to save money. Her parents are doing what they can to help, but Carlston’s father has been unemployed for a year and her sister is attending a private college out of state, she said.

Carlston, who will seek a degree in graphic design from Central Michigan University, said she likely would have gone back to school this fall regardless of aid. However, it would have meant a lot more loans without scholarships, she said.

Fortunately, she said she will be getting a boost in that department from the McLamore Foundation and from Central Michigan.