ABWA Awards Scholarship to Culinary Arts Student

Date Posted: September 14, 2021

Southern Crescent Technical College Culinary Arts student Ryan Lyles has been awarded a scholarship given annually by the Iris Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA).

Lyles, who grew up in the small southwest Georgia town of Richland, attended Georgia Southwestern State University briefly after her high school graduation. But, she decided college was not for her and joined the Army. Moving back to Georgia after her tour of duty was over, Lyles explored other career options.

Her passion for food and cooking led her to Southern Crescent Technical College’s Culinary Arts program where she has maintained a 3.83 GPA and was nominated for the GOAL award, given to the outstanding technical college student each year.

“Ryan has excelled in the Culinary Arts program and is very motivated,” said Bonnie Pfrogner, the Secretary of the local ABWA chapter. “I am so proud that this young woman knows what she wants and is working to achieve her goals.”

After graduation, Ryan “wants to continue practicing her skills in a restaurant, as well as showing them (and her recipes) on her own YouTube channel,” Pfrogner explained.

“I am thankful for my instructors who selected me to receive the ABWA scholarship and so grateful for all the opportunities I have received,” Ryan said.

Wanda Cronic Howell, the chairperson of the ABWA’s scholarship committee, said that the ABWA was “proud to support Ryan as she returns to the academic world to prepare herself for a career in food preparation.”

“The ABWA encourages women at all stages of their lives to develop their full potential,” Howell said. “Ryan is certainly an example of this.”

Since its founding in 1985, the local ABWA chapter has awarded more than $150,000 in scholarships to some 50 deserving women — both high school seniors and those non-traditional students beginning or returning to college. The mission of the American Business Women’s Association is to bring together business women of diverse occupations and to provide opportunities for them to help themselves and others grow personally and professionally through leadership, education, networking support and national recognition.  The local Iris Chapter was organized in 1985.

“This is our major charitable focus and we are proud of all the women we have assisted in reaching their educational goals,” Mrs. Howell said.