With South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's appointment Monday, Rep. Tim Scott is the state's newest U.S. senator, filling the seat being vacated by Sen. Jim DeMint. Scott's congressional colleagues were buzzing on Twitter about the Tea Party darling's ascendance to the Senate all Monday morning. Meanwhile, at the announcement, Scott praised his mother and his late mentor, a manager at a North Charleston Chick-fil-A for teaching him "basic Biblical business practices" at a time when he was practically flunking out of high school.
Buzzfeed found that Scott had written about the experience in the Charleston Post and Courier in 2010. "My mother was working hard, trying to help me to realize that there was a brighter future, but I couldn't see it," Scott wrote in an article about how mentoring changed his life.
It was around the time that he was failing world geography, civics, Spanish and English that he met conservative entrepreneur John Moniz, who ran the Chick-fil-A next to their local movie theater where Scott worked. Moniz inquired into why Scott always just ordered the fries and Scott replied that it was because they were cheaper. "One day he came down to the movie theater and slid a Chick-fil-A sandwich across the desk," Scott recalled. "John was smart enough to know that food is a good way to start a conversation with a kid who likes to eat."
Over the next couple of years Moniz helped Scott turn his life around. The future senator eventually earned a B.A. from Charleston Southern University (Scott gave the school's 2012 commencement address).
"He didn't need to feed me sandwiches or words," Scott wrote. "But he took the time to change the life of a youngster who had the good fortune to work close by."