The 2015 “Do Right” Award, recognizing uncommon displays of character, professionalism or humanity, is presented to Ridge Quarles, a 23-year-old from Louisville, KY.
While working at a Kentucky Qdoba restaurant where he was employed for during his college years and internships, a customer with a cell phone – Dr. David Jones -- quietly captured Ridge extending himself far beyond his work duties when he helped a physically challenged customer eat her meal. After helping the woman get her food, drink and utensils, as he often had before, the customer asked, “Sir, if you don’t mind, could you help me eat.” Without hesitation, Ridge answered, “Of course,” and he put on gloves and began feeding the woman her burrito.
His actions were in keeping with the philosophy shared by restaurant manager Jim Schroeder, who told the local media, “It’s not just about making people’s food. It’s about what kind of positive impact can I have on somebody else’s day.”
The gentle act of kindness caught the eye of Dr. Jones, who said his only intention was to quietly send the video to a few of his friends to remind them “there are still good people in the world.” After a bit of social media sharing, that video went viral, capturing the attention of local and major media outlets nationwide.
As for Ridge, he doesn’t think he did anything special, only what anyone should do – and that is, perhaps, what makes it so special. “I enjoy helping others,” Ridge explained, when interviewed by his local tv station, WAVE news. “The joy you get out of simply being kind is priceless.”
Dr. Jones told the news station, “If everybody in the world would just use the little, simple gift they have, to benefit somebody else, just think what the world would be like.”
Ridge, a son of Mark and Donna Quarles, is the youngest brother of Blake and Chase Quarles. He grew up in Kearney, MO, a small town north of Kansas City, and relocated to Louisville to attend Sullivan University, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Marketing in December 2013.
While attending Sullivan he worked as a restaurant manager at Qdoba Mexican Grill. After graduation he completed an intern at Scoppechio, a local advertising agency, in accounting services. He then began an internship at Blackstone Media, a local digital marketing agency, where he is now a full-time client coordinator. In his free time he enjoys surrounding himself with family and friends.