Our story started back with our namesake Burger King Co-founder James “Jim” W. McLamore and his belief in the importance of a higher education for all. With the inspiration and intention to honor Jim, the Burger King Scholars program was created in 2000. The intention of the program was to advance the education of deserving students in North America and serve as a tribute to Jim, and it has been doing so for the last 23 years with the help of the McLamore Family, Burger King guests, franchisees, system vendors and supporters that believe in the mission of the program, and the Foundation.
To provide a helping hand in times of need, Burger King Corporation established the BK℠ Emergency Fund for its employees in 2004. As they both served to build brighter futures, the programs came together under the creation of what is now known as the Burger King Foundation—a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization—in 2005.
In 2011, the McLamore Family Foundation added a new category to the Burger King Scholars program to help make a greater impact. The James W. McLamore WHOPPER® Scholarship Award was created, allowing the Foundation to grant three $60,000 awards to deserving students each year.
Our first global partnership came to fruition when we joined efforts with Room to Read in 2012. The partnership has brought literary environments to children across Africa and Southeast Asia, impacting the lives of nearly 150,000 students to date, with more to come in the future. Following this, the Foundation focuses their impact in the Latin America and Caribbean region by bringing literacy and skills training to residents in disadvantaged areas, with our first center built in the Dominican Republic in 2016.