The David & Derrick Hayes Foundation covers spring tuition costs for lucky Atlanta family


Derrick “D” Hayes, founder of The David & Derrick Hayes Foundation and Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks, presents a scholarship check for $2,590 to Atlanta resident MiDestin’e Waldron, a student enrolled at Georgia State University. (Photo: The Dave and Derrick Hayes Foundation)

On Saturday, The David & Derrick Hayes Foundation — founded by Restaurateur and Philanthropist Derrick “D” Hayes of Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks — presented one lucky Georgia State University sophomore student MiDestine Waldron and her mother Michelle Williams with a check to cover the Waldron’s remaining tuition expenses for the Spring 2021 semester.

As the humanitarian arm of Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks, the David & Derrick Hayes Foundation represents Hayes’s love for humankind and giving back, continuously driving the message that their work “is bigger than food.” Hayes has dedicated his foundation to uplifting the community that continually supports and stands with his restaurant.

Saturday’s occassion was no different. Hayes and the foundation stepped in to assist Waldron and Williams when Williams, a single mother, reached out for assistance. Waldron, an Atlanta native, is a sophomore Neuroscience major holding a 3.7 GPA attending Georgia State University, a few steps aways from Hayes’s downtown location.

“(Hayes) lifted a heavy weight off of me, and I can finally breathe,” Williams admitted. “They say it takes a village, and he is doing it.”

As the United States moves into 2021, COVID-19 cases are simultaneously rising with college students and parents’ financial difficulties. According to a November 2020 report on CNBC, 38 percent of college students worried they wouldn’t be able to cover tuition & expenses for the duration of the Fall semester.

Previous research released in June 2020 by OneClass found that as much as 56 percent of current first-year college students, sophomores, and juniors said they could no longer afford tuition due to the impact on COVID-19.

“It’s been hard during this pandemic, with all the stuff that we have going on,” said Hayes, offering encouraging words to Waldron. “I salute you for staying in school, being a Black woman staying strong; so I’m going to be a stand-up black man and stand behind you on behalf of the David & Derrick Hayes Foundation, and we want to honor you with this check to assist you with your tuition.”

The David & Derrick Hayes Foundation was founded by restaurateur Derrick “D” Hayes in 2020. The David & Derrick Hayes Foundation extends its reach to support men, women and children in efforts to improve the African American generational wealth gap while also addressing mental health, physical health, education and more.

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