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The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail.

The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail.

Dream BIG Class of 2014

Laura Muro

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Laura Muro

Laura Muro, server at Red Lobster, is pursuing a bachelor's degree in business from University of Phoenix.

Sometimes, dreaming big means lots of waiting

For Laura Muro, her big dreams began with waiting … tables. As a server and trainer for almost 18 years, Laura knows how effective waiting can be in the restaurant industry. “As a crew member, I have had plenty of time over the years to see what ideas have excited our guests and enticed them to return again and again,” she explains. She’s also seen what changes have kept them from coming back.

While she loves the many smiles she gets from her customers, her next dream is to work in the marketing and training department of a corporate restaurant. It’s always been important to Laura that her guests are well taken care of and their needs are met. Working within marketing and training will allow her to ensure the image conveyed to the guest is delivered consistently by management and the employees.

I really want to change my life to make myself worthy of [my daughter's] admiration.
Laura Muro

Laura believes a bachelor’s degree in business, thanks to a Dream BIG scholarship from University of Phoenix and the NRF Foundation, can help her achieve that dream. By combining her real-world experience with the business and technology foundation that University of Phoenix can provide, Laura knows her dreams are within reach.

“I relish the chance to take my knowledge of the daily functioning of a restaurant and apply it on a corporate level to reach more guests and ensure a great dining experience to everyone who passes through the doors.”

Though Laura has big dreams, her inspiration comes in the tiniest package. She is in constant awe of her five-year-old daughter and the spunk, intelligence and curiosity that she possesses. Constantly wanting to learn more and never afraid to take on a new challenge, Laura’s daughter teaches her mom a thing or two on a daily basis. “I really want to change my life to make myself worthy of her admiration.”


The National Retail Federation collaborates with University of Phoenix to offer the Dream BIG Scholarship to people who work in retail. This year, 20 recipients received full-tuition scholarships to help them pursue their big dreams. Meet the Class of 2014 and learn more about the Dream BIG Scholarship.