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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 2016

Class of 2016

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Dream BIG Scholarship - Kina Albritton, Journeys

At retail companies across the country, employees are receiving the good news: 20 retail workers received Dream BIG scholarships. Read the press release and meet the Class of 2016.

Dream BIG Class of 2016, by the numbers

  • The average Dream BIG scholarship recipient has worked in retail for 11 years.
  • One-third of recipients work in stores; the other two-thirds work in a corporate office.
  • More than half name a family member as their greatest inspiration.
  • Recipients plan to pursue bachelor’s degrees (70%) and master’s degrees (30%) in business, communication, technology and education.
  • 4 in 5 recipients are women.
  • Current positions in retail include merchandising and buying, customer service, human resources, management, procurement, administrative and real estate roles.
Kina Albritton

Kina Albritton

Company: Journeys
Position: Merchandiser
Years in Retail: 15
Years with Journeys: 6
“This opportunity will help advance my career in ways I thought were only possible in my dreams.” 

Rosa Bazan

Rosa Bazan

Company: Burlington Stores
Position: Assistant Buyer
Dream Role: Driving a business as a Merchandise Manager
“In the last four years, I have dreamed more than I can remember. I can only imagine the many more dreams I can fulfill through continued education and professional growth in retail.” 

Connie Belton

Consuelo Belton

Company: Walgreens
Position: Administrative Assistant
Years in Retail: 27
Years with Walgreens: 27
Dream Role: Innovator and creator of cutting edge software to take Walgreens to the next level in technology and digital systems. 

Danielle Davidson

Danielle Davidson

Company: maurices
Position: Assistant Manager
Years in Retail: 4
Dream Role: Attain a higher level in management so as to have a greater influence on customer experiences in stores
“I am excited about what the future holds and working to see my big dreams become big realities.”

Amber Grace

Amber Grace

Company: Bealls
Position: Associate Buyer
Years in Retail: 9
Fun Fact: In 2012, Amber founded a nonprofit organization called G.R.A.C.E which mentors and supports underprivileged girls around the country. She hopes to advance the organization to establish shadow and mentor programs for young girls to learn from women in high-ranking positions within retail.  

Nicole Heiden

Nicole Heiden

Company: The Kroger Co. (Fred Meyer division)
Position: Store Sales Director
Dream Role: President of Fred Meyer
“As a student of the industry, I have come to love retail. There has been no shortage of opportunities for me to grow, and the more I grow and develop, the more I give back to others in the industry.”

See Nicole Heiden get the surprise of her life at work!

Heather Hilton HEADSHOT

Heather Hilton

Company: bebe
Position: Regional Human Resources Manager
Years in Retail: 21
Years with bebe: 10
"I feel so honored to work in an industry constantly looking to improve processes, increase growth and educate others. I am driven to share that passion with others." 

Frankie Israel

Frankie Israel

Company: West Elm
Position: Sales and Service Manager
Dream Role: Management and corporate partnerships
"My dream is different, in that I dream of breaking down the walls that make retail its own world, and creating an environment instead where we are not just consumers and retailers, but partners in a whole world community."            

See Frankie Israel get the surprise of his life at work!

Kevin Jackson

Kevin Jackson

Company: The Container Store
Position: Procurement Coordinator
Years in Retail: 20
Years with The Container Store: 17
“The philosophy that businesses can embrace conscious capitalism while improving the economy only encourages me about the future of retail. As a retail employee in procurement, I feel a responsibility to make sure that everyone flourishes.”  

Watch as Kevin Jackson gets the surprise of his life at work!

Read The Container Store's blog post to get to know Kevin better.

Rebecca Kittle

Rebecca Kittle

Company: dressbarn
Position: Executive Assistant
Dream Role: Retail consultant, helping organizations shape culture through wellness programs to promote a balanced and healthy environment for employees
“I feel most connected to retail. I am a consumer at heart. I pay attention to prevailing marketing strategies, study consumer trends, and of course, who doesn't love to shop?”

See Rebecca Kittle get the surprise of her life at work!

Shandace Lerma

Shandace Lerma

Company: Nordstrom
Position: Recruiting Analyst
Years in Retail: 13
Years with Nordstrom: 6
“As an executive, I plan to help others navigate this industry and discover the breadth and depth of an industry so essential to our culture. My love and passion for retail permeate through every part of my life.”

See Shandace Lerma get the surprise of her life at work!

Kristi Malicoat

Kristi Malicoat

Company: Whole Foods Market
Position: Associate Store Team Leader
Years in Retail: 13
Dream Role: President of Whole Foods Market Midwestern Region
“I've met almost 1,000 people through my opportunities. Being able to meet, learn and grow from that many personalities is truly a gift.”

See Kristi Malicoat get the surprise of her life at work!

Michelle Miranda

Michelle Miranda

Company: H&M
Position: Lease Administrator
Years in Retail: 8
“The opportunities in the retail industry are endless, especially at H&M. I want to continue working in this industry and giving back to the company that has given me so much.”

Brandi McKinney

Brandi McKinney

Company: The Kroger Co.
Position: Recruiting Supervisor
Years in Retail: 4
Dream Role: To make a lasting impact in recruitment processes and transform an aspect of company operations. 

See Brandi McKinney get the surprise of her life at work.

Elizabeth Murphy

Elizabeth Murphy

Company: Crate and Barrel
Position: Senior Training Lead, Stores
Years in Retail: 30
Years at Crate and Barrel: 25
Dream Role: Member of the Talent and Organizational Development Team to develop employee engagement strategies for retail store associates 

Brittany Pfleuger

Brittany Pfleuger

Company: EXPRESS
Position: Store Manager
Years in Retail: 7
Dream Role: From manager to co-manager and store manager to district manager, climbing the ladder to ultimately become a regional manager with EXPRESS 

Lori Savage

Lori Savage

Company: The Kroger Co.
Position: Item Setup Specialist
Years in Retail: 9
Path to Retail: Lori switched careers several times, starting as a registered nurse, looking to be a typist and ultimately becoming a professional with broad computer knowledge and experience. In the end, she found the ideal combination of her goals and skills in retail. 

See Lori Savage get the surprise of her life at work!

Richard Spear

Richard Spear

Company: Tractor Supply Company
Position: Physical Inventory Accounting Supervisor
Years in Retail: 20

Shelley Warden

Shelley Warden

Company: Pier 1 Imports
Position: Business Analyst
Years in Retail: 16
Years with Pier 1 Imports: 9
Dream Role: Leadership position to train associates
“Be responsible, be reliable, but don't be predictable.”

Rosa Williams Oyeneye

Rosa Williams Oyeneye

Company: MyEyeDr.
Position: Recruiter
Dream Role: Management in talent acquisition to develop strategies to support the scale of a fast-growing company.
Fun Fact: In her three short years with MyEyeDr., Rosa’s accomplishments include reducing employee turnover by 30 percent; transitioning the company to entirely electronic application processes; and sourcing, recruiting and hiring the now top-performing district manager. 

Dream BIG: How to Apply

To apply for Dream BIG, you will need to submit three short essays, a current resume and a letter of recommendation per the application instructions, and meet all eligibility and selection criteria.