Most students take our Pathlight Kitchen Culinary Training Program as an entrance into the delicious career of food service. Some, such as Amanda, have even broader goals. And though she graduated back in December 2018, she remembers the experience like it was yesterday.
When Amanda applied, Chef Esteban said the class was full, unfortunately, so she prayed…and prayed. Two days later, her prayers were answered! A spot opened and she could start her cooking journey! “It was meant to be,” she says.
What started as her desire to learn to be a better cook, get her certification, obtain employment or open up a business became so much more. She has started writing a book and has been using what she learned to give back in the community. “I’m a better person now… [the class] made me step up in who I was. I even learned to be on time!” So just how did our culinary training do all that for Amanda?
Amanda shares that she learned not only the mechanics of cooking, but the importance of sanitation and cleanliness, ingredient labeling, improvising as needed, meal presentation, problem solving, and helping others. She believes that, if she went anywhere else, she would not have learned so much about respect, teamwork, believing in oneself, and trouble-shooting, in addition to the hard skills. She credits Chef Esteban and Shannelle (now working in our Restore Program) with teaching in a positive, kind and caring manner. They went the “extra mile,” encouraging confidence in their students. Upon graduation, Amanda felt she could, “take on the planet.”
Amanda didn’t realize the depth of her passion for helping others. She now uses that passion and all else she discovered to prepare meals and help others through her church and community organizations, such as the Midnight Angel Prayer Warriors. She encourages those seeking a career to take advantage of our Pathlight Kitchen course and learn about the culinary path. “It’ll be life-changing,” she says. “They’ll be a better person!”