By Jordan Beach 

Two years ago, Reinhardt University signed an educational pathway agreement with Cherokee County, Ga. Chick-fil-A. The educational opportunity has enabled students like Alex Gomez to thrive. 

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Alex Gomez ’21

At a young age, Gomez lost his father in a tragic accident at work. His mother made the difficult decision to leave their home country of Mexico for more opportunity for her and her family in the United States. She moved to California to find wok initially, with Gomez and his siblings eventually joining her. Gomez worked many challenging jobs before moving to Georgia and starting at Canton Riverstone Chick-fil-A in 1998. 

Now with a family of his own to support, Gomez followed the advice of his mother that education allows people to advance in life. He found it challenging to fit a school schedule into his workload, as he now serves the Canton Riverstone Chick-fil-A as general manager. As a nontraditional student, Gomez needed a flexible program. 

“I chose Reinhardt University because of the flexible school schedule,” said Gomez. “The Organizational Management Leadership program at Reinhardt has allowed me to further my education.” 

Gomez has worked at Riverstone Chick-fil-A for 22 years, working his way to a leadership position. He now leads more than 100 employees. Reinhardt’s educational pathway partnership enabled him to take the time to grow in his leadership and business knowledge, both at school and in the workplace. 

“My experience at RU has been great. I have been challenged to learn new things like critical thinking, learning APA formatting, creating 10-page reports on any given subject and using my public speaking skills for class presentations.” 

Throughout his experience, Gomez felt support from faculty and students. 

“The students in my cohort group are always checking on me to make sure I do not get stuck on any given assignment. With the support of my classmates and my instructors, I will successfully graduate in the Spring 2021 semester.” 

Reinhardt’s partnership allows Chick-fil-A Canton team members from the three locations owned and operated by Kevin Williams – Riverstone, Canton Marketplace and Hickory Flat – to receive discounted tuition toward a Master of Business Administration leader development program, or any undergraduate online program. Williams also serves on Reinhardt’s Board of Trustees. 

“Getting an education at an older age can be challenging,” said Gomez. “Life is hard for everyone, but everything is possible. When things get complicated, put a smile on your face and ask for help.” 

Learn more about Alex’s story at https://www.irrationalkindness.com/podcast-1/alexgomez