Announcing the 2022 Denny’s Hungry for Education Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to PYD / Denny's Hungry for Education Scholarship Winners, with PYD and Denny's logos

Partners for Youth with Disabilities is proud to announce the Denny’s Hungry for Education scholarship winners.

PYD granted six scholarships totaling $9,000 to high school and college students with disabilities to PYD participants and youth across the country. Their positive outlook and ability to advocate for their needs and the needs of those around them exemplifies the values and mission of PYD. Since 2011, Denny’s Hungry for Education scholarship program has provided more than $1.8 million in scholarships to students across the US while striving to fight childhood hunger, promote education, and bring communities together.

Please join us in congratulating our 2022 Denny’s Hungry for Education scholarship winners.

High School

Morgan Wilcox

Morgan of Cypress, Texas hopes to become a special education elementary teacher and will begin Sam Houston State University in the fall. In preparation for her future career, for the past three years she has been a leader in the Texas Association of Future Educators (TAFE), where she manages the appreciation section of her club. To bring communities together, Morgan suggested that “Denny’s could introduce a mentorship program for people with disabilities where people with similar struggles can be paired together. They would be able to communicate and share their struggles and learn from each other; it would make many people, including myself, feel less alone with the difficulties of their disability and continue to build the community that Denny’s strives for.”

A resident of Oceanview, Hawaii, Betsy will attend the University of Hawaii at Hilo where she looks forward to growing and flourishing into the person she wants to be. She will explore many of her diverse interests while in college – including accounting, psychology, nursing, language, and agriculture – to determine the best path for her future. “My dream is to help the community that helped me get back on my feet [after a neurological disorder and autoimmune disorder diagnosis in her early teens],” Betsy said. “I want to be a voice for people who don’t have a voice and [help them realize] that the impossible is possible.”

Brandon Le

Brandon plans to attend Loyola University New Orleans as a freshman in the Honors Program in the fall. A Harvey, Louisiana resident, Brandon is considering majoring in public health so he can be part of the next global pandemic response team. He has become a strong advocate for himself: “I’ve learned that there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for extra help. I know that I can excel, and I strive to find a great college that will help me become my best self.” Brandon is especially excited to receive this scholarship “because it recognizes students like me who have overcome various challenges to excel in school.” He received numerous academic awards in high school and volunteers at local food banks.


Tom Geraci

A sophomore at Merrimack College, Tom’s goal is to work in the communications industry. The West Roxbury, Massachusetts resident reports that “my disability has given me a unique perspective on the college experience, and has directly impacted my goals in life. As a college freshman, I became a Diversity Senator on the Student Government, and worked extensively with the Accessibility Services Office to improve shuttle services around the campus so that physically disabled students can navigate the Andover area efficiently, accessibly and free of charge.” Tom has developed a strong interest in advocating for walkable, affordable housing, fueled by his lived experience as a disabled person transitioning into adulthood.

Hadley Kronick

Hadley of Baton Rouge, Louisiana is a sophomore at Wellesley College majoring in psychology and neuroscience and is currently the Zimmerman Fellow for the psychology department. “I want to use the perspective I have to continue to advocate and fight for those going through similar experiences. I hope to use this degree to create a more inclusive world for people with disabilities,” she said. Hadley’s idea for how Denny’s can bring communities together is to make the restaurants disability friendly. She suggests accessible entryways, dining areas, restrooms, menu options such as braille and photos, and an accessible website with audio captions of written information, photos, and an accessible map that highlights accessible parking and entrances. Hadley also believes training for managers or employees about disability is essential. “Often workers have no idea how to engage with the disabled community, again emphasizing that isolating nature. PYD offers amazing courses educating people about disabilities and the history of disability law that I have taken and learned a great deal from!”

Stephen Naumann

Winthrop, Massachusetts resident Stephen attends the F.I.R.S.T. Institute where he is studying graphic design and web development. Stephen is a participant in PYD’s Career Readiness program, which he credits for helping him obtain his first job. “Partners for Youth with Disabilities helped out with employment and getting me prepped for the real world. Partners for Youth with Disabilities also helped out with certain life skills like job interviews and practicing certain employment scenarios. I actually used the skills that I learned from Partners for Youth with Disabilities to help my former neighbor out with a job for my first and only customer.” Stephen is also a Black Belt in Taekwondo.

We are thrilled to help support these outstanding students and look forward to following their careers. We are grateful to Denny’s for being a champion of inclusion and supporting students as they further their education and work towards their future goals.