The Chick-fil-A Fellows Class of 2019 has been in full swing. Since the kick off event in Atlanta last August, the Fellows have spent the past several months learning principles and practicals of leading with the heart of a servant. They've spent time with their Chick-fil-A staff mentors, participated in a monthly curriculum on leadership, and, experienced a once-in-a-lifetime trip to California where they spent time with companies including Homeboy Industries, TOMS and The Giving Key to learn about how they give back.
In April, the Fellows will be back in Atlanta to paricipate in the program's closing event. Before they arrive, we spoke with two of the Fellows to learn more about their experience and the impact the program has made so far. Meet Angeula Manhertz.
Hometown: Marietta, Georgia
College: Georgia State University
Major: Business Economics & Psychology
About: Angeula is an Atlanta native and is currently earning her bachelor’s degree at Georgia State. She recently founded an organization called S.A.M.E (Students Advocating for Mental-Health Exposure) that seeks to strengthen targeted communities through a mental-health care funnel called “S.A.M.E Hub” designed to support other peers in understanding and working through life’s challenges.
Q: How did you first hear about the Chick-fil-A Fellows program?
I actually worked at Chick-fil-A for four years prior to applying for the Fellows program. The operations manager sat me down, told me about the program and encouraged me to apply. It sounded like an amazing experience to work with a company that I had been a part of for so long.
Q: What made you want to be a part of this program?
I had done a leadership program at Camp High Harbor before, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to further develop my leadership skills. I’m always looking for new ways to evolve as a person, and this sounded like a perfect fit.
Q: How have you developed as a leader through the program?
I evolved my way of thinking. Servant leadership is leading by example, paying attention to detail, spreading kindness, teaching others and most importantly serving others. Essentially, that is a synopsis of what Matt and the team demonstrate to us Fellows. I feel so appreciative and undeserving at the same time! Because of their servant leadership, I have met people, done things and gone places I never thought I would have the opportunity to do on my own. One of my best memories is from our trip out to California. We were watching the sunset over the Santa Monica Pier, and I was moved to tears...I felt so full and so thankful in that moment.
Q: What has been a notable, stand-out moment for you so far?
At the kickoff event in July, we met Garrett Gravesen who co-founded Chick-fil-a Fellows. Garrett is an awesome guy for many reasons; a few being his ability to teach and his hunger to learn. He shared with us his experiences that called him to write his book, “10 Seconds of Insane Courage: How to Unlock Your Courage to Unleash Your Potential,” which has shifted the dynamic of my entire life. Since completing the book just days after we were gifted with it, I mustered up 10 seconds of encouragement to leave a toxic relationship, start my own business, try new things out of my comfort zone, and take major leaps of faith. I am proud to say, I do not regret a single decision.
Q: Has your perception about Chick-fil-A changed from being a Fellow?
Working at my local Chick-fil-A for nearly four years before being a Fellow, I thought I knew all there was to know. This experience has given me more insight into the philanthropic side of the company. One thing Chick-fil-A does that sets them apart from most companies is giving back. Dan Cathy spoke to us about the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium and how it impacted the surrounding impoverished neighborhoods. Many love the new stadium, but what many people don’t know is that the stadium skyrocketed property taxes for Atlanta Natives. Chick-fil-A, being the awesome company it is, partners with other companies to support those people. This isn’t a business deal, just a kind deed simply because they care. That is just one of many ways Chick-fil-a gives back to those who need it - and I had no idea!
Q: How do you think the Chick-fil-A Fellows program will prepare you for the future? Is there anything you will do (or approach) differently because of the program?
Truett Cathy once said, “Nearly every moment of every day, we have the opportunity to give something to someone else - our time, our love, our resources”; that is something I try to be intentional about: filling up my cup, so that I may pour into others. You never know what obstacles anyone may be hurdling their way through, so if we all held ourselves accountable to feel our feelings, pour into others and always consider another perspective before committing to anything, then you would be surprised at the progress we all can make. I reflect on this lesson daily, and it has transformed my life in every way possible.
Q: In 5 years, where would you like to be?
I want to be my own boss.I’d like to see S.A.M.E. be a prominent name in mental health services, and truly make an impact. Personally, I want to have savings, a house, a stable income and living each day like it’s my last. I want to be exposed to the adventure of life and to help people along the way
Q: What advice would you give to a future participant in the CFA Fellows program?
There is no cap to growth. If you are a college student who is feeling the stress and anxiety of uncertainty, please apply for this program!