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Taco Bell Black History Month Spotlight: Aaliyah S.

Aaliyah S. (She/Her) - Live Más Scholar, Team Member, Franchise org. Hospitality Restaurant Group (HRG)

Taco Bell Black History Month Spotlight: Aaliyah S.

Aaliyah S. (She/Her) - Live Más Scholar, Team Member, Franchise org. Hospitality Restaurant Group (HRG)

Published 03-01-24

Submitted by Yum! Brands

Aaliyah S. "Celebrating Black History Month"

Taco Bell blog

Black History Month started off as a one-week celebration founded by Carter G. Woodson in February 1926. Fifty years later, the week was extended into a month dedicated to honoring Black American history.

This year’s nationwide Black History Month’s focus is African Americans and the Arts, detailing African American artistic and cultural movements.

To celebrate our Black team members and these communities, we will share some of their stories. Get ready to be inspired, get involved and continue learning and celebrating the culture and achievements of the Black community.

Aaliyah S. (She/Her) - Live Más Scholar, Team Member, Franchise org. Hospitality Restaurant Group (HRG)

2023 Live Más Scholar Aaliyah S. believes Black History Month is a time that highlights the struggles and persistence of Black people against societal norms and an opportunity to preserve a culture and history that has been continuously re-written. For Aaliyah, it’s all about taking what her ancestors did and bringing the same energy in everything she does as she moves through life.

“I celebrate Black History not just throughout February, but every day. I live in remembrance of the perseverance it took for my people and myself to make it where I am today. It serves as a constant reminder that giving up has never and will never be an option.”

Aaliyah was born and raised in Rochester, New York. From the beginning of time, she always had a passion for math and science as she excelled in these subjects throughout her academic career. This led her to SUNY University at Buffalo for STEM.

“As I embark on my journey to become a Black woman in STEM, I hope to graduate with a professional Doctor of Pharmacy degree and pursue a career in either nuclear pharmacy or pharmaceutical academia. I would also love to spend a good portion of my career in retail pharmacy as I view this career path as the most direct opportunity to serve my community.”

So how did Aaliyah end up at Taco Bell and as a Live Más Scholar? For a long time, she knew the cost of higher education would be a heavy lift, so she spent the last few years of high school researching scholarships, working at Taco Bell to save up, and shaping herself into the best possible collegiate candidate she could be. In the end, Aaliyah was awarded her university’s Presidential Scholarship and the Live Más Scholarship!

“I applied for the Live Más Scholarship because my general manager at the time inspired me to. Throughout the application process, I never imagined I would actually become a recipient, but because Missy believed in me, I went through with it. I’m forever grateful I did!”

For Aaliyah, The Live Más Scholarship has empowered her to continue disrupting the educational boundaries as a Black woman in STEM.

“The Live Más Scholarship is far more than just the big check. Through the generosity of the Taco Bell Foundation and becoming a member of the Live Más scholar community, my eyes have been opened to all that our youth is achieving and inspired me to push myself even further!”

Looking to the future, Aaliyah hopes to continue to achieve academic success but also learn to prioritize her happiness and health. She hopes other students like her do the same!

“I aspire to live a healthier lifestyle. As a student, sometimes it can be easy to slip into bad habits of not taking care of oneself but it’s going to be different in the new year.”

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Yum! Brands

Yum! Brands

Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, has over 54,000 restaurants in more than 155 countries and territories, operating the Company’s brands – KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell – global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food categories. The Company’s family of brands also includes The Habit Burger Grill, a fast-casual restaurant concept specializing in made-to-order chargrilled burgers, sandwiches and more. Yum! Brands was named to the 2021 Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America and was ranked on Newsweek’s list of 2021 America’s Most Responsible Companies. In 2022, Yum! Brands was named to 3BL Media’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens.

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