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Black History Month Spotlight

Kim E. (She/Her)– Shift Lead, Taco Bell Corp.

Black History Month started off as a one-week celebration founded by Carter G. Woodson in February 1926. Fifty years later, the week was extended into a month dedicated to honoring Black American history.

This year’s nationwide Black History Month’s focus is African Americans and the Arts, detailing African American artistic and cultural movements.

To celebrate our Black team members and these communities, we will share some of their stories. Get ready to be inspired, get involved and continue learning and celebrating the culture and achievements of the Black community.

Kim knew she wanted to become an educator from the very beginning.

When Kim came to high school, she became a facilitator in her school’s first summer camp program. However, she found herself in some hard situations which made her realize that she was nowhere near becoming a teacher. This made her give up her dream of teaching.

Over the years, Kim worked in several different spaces that she thought would bring her happiness. It wasn’t until she found Taco Bell in 2017 when this became true. During the first couple months, Kim spent time having fun with her team, doing competitions to see who could wrap the best tacos or produce an order the fastest. When October came around, Kim was asked to become a Shift Lead.

“I was wary in the beginning because of the responsibility that came with this position. Working at Taco Bell was supposed to be a job where I could do the work, have fun and then go home. That didn’t last long as I took a leap of faith and became a Shift Lead.”

After becoming a Shift Lead, Kim thought her life was as good as it got. Then came the opportunity to fulfill Kim’s dream of becoming a teacher.

“Last year, I was granted an opportunity to further my education through Guild, the education and skilling program offered as a Taco Bell Benefit to corporate restaurant employees. I will be graduating with my Bachelor’s of Science in Education Studies from Wilmington University in 2024.”

Black History Month SpotlightBlack History Month Spotlight

Thanks to Guild, Kim works at Taco Bell and pursues her passion for education at the same time. One thing she loves to do is bring new perspectives into the classroom setting. Especially during Black History Month, Kim encourages her students to research and educate their peers about Black Heritage.

“Black History Month is a time of reflection and to think of what my impact on this earth will be for future generations. I celebrate it in many ways, one being in my classroom where I encourage my students to pick a field and to do research on an African American who had influence in that field. In this process, I learn more about my heritage as well!”

Being enrolled in a program through Guild also gave Kim the opportunity to be part of a corporate mentorship program at The Bell where she was assigned mentor Leslie P., Associate Manager of Menu Operations. Throughout the mentorship program, Leslie helped Kim transform her outlook and find a path moving forward.

“Leslie made me realize that it did not matter what my situation was. If there was a goal in sight, we could achieve it together. She showed me the different areas of growth throughout the company and shared stories of people who were similar to me and still found their own path.”

For Kim, this journey has given her the confidence to do anything she sets her mind to.

“This journey allowed me to see that If I can dream it, I can achieve it. Upon onboarding, we have a training that teaches us the Taco Bell core Brand Values. Leslie showed me that these values are not only applicable to how we act with our customers and team members, but evident in our personal lives too. Live Más is everywhere and with anything.”

Looking to the future, Kim hopes to motivate others to persevere through the tough times and be their authentic self.

“My advice would be to be Authentically YOU. I never thought I’d get to a point where I could envision a future, a brighter future for myself or for my family. However, I am thankful that Taco Bell took a chance on me to show the heart and soul of the Live Más culture.”

Black History Month Spotlight
Black History Month Spotlight