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Passion for Cooking Yields Scholarship Awards

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Kayla Adams grew up in Chicago, Ill., and she attends Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, but her love of the culinary arts is rooted in visits to her grandmother's house in Mississippi.

"My grandma cooked for the entire family," said Adams. "I was one of nine grandkids, and I was the only one allowed in her kitchen. When I was back home in Chicago, I would always call her and ask how to make this or that. I want to graduate from college for Granny."

That gift shared from grandmother to granddaughter is reflected in the fact that Adams is now a four-time recipient of the Illinois Restaurant Association Scholarship.

She has applied that scholarship toward her studies as a hospitality administration major at Arkansas Tech. She is on track to graduate in spring 2018.

Adams said she found Arkansas Tech by conducting an online search for universities with accredited hospitality administration programs.

Living in the South has provided Adams with exposure to heat, humidity and bugs she had rarely, if ever, seen before, but it was the peopleĀ of Arkansas Tech that made her want to stay.

"This is where I'm supposed to be," said Adams. "The atmosphere is so homey. My faculty membersĀ in hospitality administration have always encouraged me to go for my dreams. I was shy when I first got here. I didn't know anyone. They made me come out of my shell and blossom into a young adult."

Adams knows what she ultimately wants to do with her Bachelor of Science degree in hospitality administration from Arkansas Tech.

"I want to own my own restaurant," said Adams. "It's been my dream since I started cooking at the age of 10."

Learn more about the Arkansas Tech hospitality administration degree program.