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Ashley Derby was like many teenagers whose  first job is at a fast food restaurant, but she probably didn’t expect it to become her longtime career path. But in  2011,  six years after her college graduation,  Derby became the youngest Black franchise owner in Chick-Fil-A’s history at the age of 26 and has since expanded her reach.

Derby was 15 when she began working with the popular fast food chain in her hometown of Marietta, Georgia. When she went on to Spelman College, Derby continued working for Chick-Fil-A.

Noticing her work ethic and drive, Chick Fil-A management suggested Derby train for leadership roles within the company which helped prepare her for owning  her own franchise which was across the street from the University of Southern California.

In August of this year, the company announced that Derby would leave the USC franchise to become the owner of a sparkling new downtown Los Angeles location.

The new restaurant employs around 80 full and part-time people and Derby has said publicly she intends to use her influence and experience to help groom others just as it was done for her.

PHOTO: Chick-Fil-A

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Little Known Black History Fact: Ashley Derby  was originally published on