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East Peoria teen wins $10,000 Taco Bell scholarship

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PEORIA (WEEK) -- A teen from East Peoria won a $10,000 scholarship from Taco Bell.

Autumn Freeman works at the company's East Peoria location.

On a whim, she applied for the Live Más scholarship hoping to pay for her nursing education.

In the future, she wants to work as a nurse in developing countries.

The Taco Bell Foundation said she won the second highest amount in the country for this scholarship.

Her family came along for the surprise.

"We pulled up to the Taco Bell and parking lot and the rest of my family was going into the building and the front doors are locked so I'm like why are they going into the building?," she said. "That doesn't make sense and I still didn't know what was going on at that point, so I didn't know until like my mom walked me inside and they're like hey congratulations you won and they had cake and balloons it was amazing and I didn't know about it until just then!"

Freeman and her mom have been making homemade masks for their friends and family to get through the pandemic.

She said she applied to Lincoln Christian College.

Molly Jirasek

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