Guy Fieri surprises UCF student with $25K scholarship during 'Restaurant Reboot'


Guy Fieri surprised a UCF student with a $25K scholarship. - COURTESY OF MEDIUM RARE
  • Courtesy of Medium Rare
  • Guy Fieri surprised a UCF student with a $25K scholarship.

Guy Fieri has more than enough goodwill in the Orlando area. 

He spent the COVID-19 pandemic advocating for service industry workers, who make up a sizeable chunk of our fair city. And the mind behind Chicken Guy! has legions of fans who were ecstatic to learn that his Disney Springs restaurant was expanding to Winter Park. But Fieri is never really done.

As a part of his Guy's Restaurant Reboot special, Fieri distributed $300,000 in grants to restaurateurs and other service industry members to help in the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Among the winners was Valerie Contreras, a UCF student and server who was awarded a $25,000 scholarship. Contreras said she hopes to open a cafe and community space after she finishes college.

"The hospitality industry is as resilient as any but this past year has been a challenge like we’ve never seen," Fieri said in a statement. "[This] is all about great people and companies coming together to inspire and encourage the future of our restaurants and the hard working entrepreneurs behind them.”

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