Exciting news coming out of the Life Unboxed EDU program, as Pizza Hut’s Kari Pester recently earned her Associate Degree in Science.
Kari is the first student to earn a degree from our EDU program, which launched in late 2015. Kari, an employee of Pizza Hut franchisee, Peak Interests, started taking classes through Excelsior College in August of 2016.
The Life Unboxed EDU program makes the perceived impossible, possible, but don’t take it from us. Follow Kari’s journey in her own words below.
I started working for Pizza Hut in Lincoln, Nebraska, December 2013. I was hired to help open a new store. Despite my medical issues, RGM Teri Wayman gave me the opportunity to work for her and Pizza Hut. I never guessed it could lead to finishing my degree! I thought that was impossible.
The last time I attended college was in 2001 at Doane College in Crete, Nebraska. I was halfway to completing my bachelor’s degree in biology, but my health became worse, causing work and school to be put on hold. My plan originally was to get a bachelor’s degree in biology and continue into a master’s program to become a Marine Biologist.
Though my health will never be 100%, I can work part time now. I enjoy delivering pizza for Pizza Hut! I have worked many different jobs before Pizza Hut but for some reason, I still love delivering pizza! Sometimes working in the pizza business is not easy, but when everyone teams together, it can be good. Plus delivering pizza keeps me moving, so my condition doesn’t put me completely down.
Thanks to Excelsior College teaming up with Pizza Hut, I went back to school. I kept all my credits instead of starting over. Usually after credits are five years old, classes need to be retaken. My Learning Zone and work experience counted as credits also! That left me just a few credits shy of an associate degree, with extra credits that I did not use for the degree. It was just amazing! So I went for it and started class under PeopleMatter for the first quarter. The second quarter I went off on my own and completed my degree through Excelsior College finishing December 11. I took a total of three classes with Excelsior and now I have an Associate Degree in Science in Liberal Arts. The classes were interactive, online classes. Some of it was not easy, but I learned a lot and refreshed my knowledge. Interacting with other classmates was also very helpful. Excelsior College included tutor help and/or review help on papers. The professors I worked with were outstanding! I am also eligible to return to complete a bachelor’s degree.
Thank you, Pizza Hut and everyone involved, for making the impossible, possible for me! I am so grateful.
As we like to say here, “Pizza Hut may not be your only thing, but it could be the very thing that makes the rest possible”. Since launching in 2015, Life Unboxed EDU has expanded its’ offering. Initially focused on college tuition assistance, EDU now includes the GEDWorks Program to help Team Members prepare for and pass the GED® test.
Congratulations, Kari, for setting an example with this HUGE accomplishment and continuing with a new goal of attaining your bachelor’s degree!