Like so many immigrants, Bakary had big dreams when he moved to the U.S. from Gambia. He was in pursuit of a better life and an education that would lead him to greater opportunities.


In 2004, Bakary joined the Kroger Family of Companies after financial distress forced him to drop out of school and put his dreams on hold.A few years into his Kroger career, Bakary learned about the tuition reimbursement program, Feed Your Future. He hoped that this program was the key to getting him back on track with school and back on track to living his dream.


“I did my research and consulted with Human Resources and my managers regarding how I could utilize the program,” says Bakary. “It was from there that I realized I had no excuses for not continuing my education.”


Bakary started his journey by registering for the Retail Management Program at Cerritos college, a program that was fully funded by Kroger. After completing that certificate program, Bakary went on to earn two associate degrees from Cerritos College; one in business administration and one in retail management. Despite all his efforts, Bakary still wasn’t satisfied. He continued to take classes in pursuit of his bachelor’s degree, and in May of this year, he graduated with a degree in business administration from Northwood University.


With degree in hand, Bakary, operations manager in our Compton, California distribution center, has a very bright future. He plans to continue his education to improve his knowledge base and is committed to sharing best practices that will help further position Kroger as a leader in the industry.


“I plan to implement ideas that will encourage the team to work together in a positive environment and achieve results,” he says. “In collaboration with my team, I also plan to implement cost saving ideas that will transfer to our valued customers in the form of lower prices.”


Bakary thanks not only his family for their support during his journey but also his co-workers.


“I feel valued working for Kroger,” he says. “Not only has Kroger allowed me to provide for myself and given me the financial means to further my education and improve my life, Kroger has given me a purpose and direction! I feel empowered to help myself, my team, friends, family, and our community on so many levels.”