Shasmarie O’Neal, a local McDonalds shift manager, successfully completed the Archways to Opportunity High School Diploma Program and was recognized in a ceremony Thursday afternoon.
Representatives on behalf of Congressman Tom Reed and Assemblymember Christopher Friend, and Horseheads Mayor Robert Maloney attended the ceremony along with Shasmarie’s family and co-workers.
“To present Shasmarie with her diploma for completing this wonderful program is truly an honor. I am so incredibly proud of her for being able to not only continue as an excellent employee but simultaneously excelling academically,” said local franchise owner Courtney Feehan. “I encourage more employees to take advantage of this program and follow in Shasmarie’s footsteps.”
McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity education program allows eligible employees an opportunity to earn a high school diploma, receive assistance in college tuition, free accessibility to education advising services, and the chance to learn English as a second language.
The high school diploma program allows employees to graduate from high school by taking online classes at the convenience of the employee. Recently, McDonald’s has extended the Career Online High School services to restaurant employees’ family members as well as lowering the eligibility requirement for the program to 90 days of employment. Since the Archways to Opportunity program was made available to Cayuga Restaurant Group employees about two years ago, employees have received over $100,000 total in financial assistance towards their educations.
“Thank you for all of the support from my General Manager and Courtney Feehan, as well as my friends and family. I’d also like to thank you Courtney and McDonald’s Cayuga Restaurant Group for providing the Archways to Opportunity Program as a possibility for me to further my education and lead me to future opportunities that will benefit me and my family,” said O’Neal.