Sign in below to manage your monthly gift or email communications Sign in »
Recipes for Success: Johnny goes to Washington

Johnny goes to Washington

Johnny goes to Washington

Six months after completing Second Harvest’s Culinary Training Program, Johnny Brummit received an invitation of a lifetime. On July 25, he travelled with his grandmother who instilled a love of cooking in him, to Washington, DC to speak at the White House as part of the one-year celebration event in honor of the Pledge to America’s Workers.

Through Second Harvest's partnership with American Hotel & Lodging Association, Johnny received specialized job training skills necessary excel in the hospitality industry. Within his first six months of employment at Aloft Downtown Orlando, Johnny has been promoted twice and now works as the Lead Breakfast Cook.  

At the White House, Johnny shared the stage with President Trump, Vice President Pence and Ivanka Trump, who is overseeing the Pledge, a call to action to create more and better jobs.

"I wanted to do better for my family and I took this opportunity," explained Johnny. "It has all led to this life-changing moment to me."

Johnny shared with a national audience about his childhood, how his grandmother raised him and despite spending time in Juvenile Detention, he graduated from high school before finding his way to Second Harvest's Culinary Training Program. His training included safe food handling, knife skills, resume writing and communication, among many other lessons.

In reflecting on this experience, Johnny says, "Words cannot express how glad I feel. When they first asked me to come to the White House, I thought they were kidding. I was nervous. Being here has been life transforming and I still can’t believe it."

Highlights of his time in Washington have been a visit to the Smithsonian, a tour of the Capitol and meeting the President’s chef. "I really enjoyed going inside the White House kitchen. What an amazing opportunity that most people don’t get to see."

Johnny and his grandmother visited with several of our local elected officials, including Rep. Stephanie Murphy and Rep. Val Demings. They also celebrated his grandmother’s birthday.

Johnny is on his way back to Orlando and is ready to get back to work.

"There's a lot of room for growth at Aloft and I'm thankful for the opportunities they continue to give me to grow as a professional." Johnny has added several items to the breakfast menu, including breakfast sandwiches. But his favorite is the southern breakfast, a plate of cheese grits, crispy chicken bites and a poached egg.

In parting, Johnny says, "They say the sky is the limit, but I say shoot for the stars. Your struggle does not define you. Your past does not define you. It’s all about what you do today."



The Second Harvest Culinary Training Program provides qualified, at-risk and economically disadvantaged adults with the culinary and life skills training needed to pursue a sustainable career in the food industry. To learn more about or apply for the program, visit feedhopenow.org/culinarytraining.

 

Inspired to help more of our neighbors in need like Johnny? Find ways to help!

View more stories of Culinary Students

View more stories of Hope & Courage

Hunger In Our Community
Stories of Hope and Courage Click to read stories of hope and courage
Meet some of the families, kids and seniors that you help. Read their stories.
How You Help
Learn how you are helping to feed families, kids, and seniors in Central Florida. Your impact
Your support changes lives Your impact on hunger in Central Florida
1 in 7 Central Floridians are struggling with the reality of hunger. Watch video.
Become a
Sustaining Donor!
- or -
Give a One-Time Gift
$10 Donated Provides 40 meals for our Neighbors in Need.
Stay Connected
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Instragram Follow us on LinkedIn

Twitter

Instagram

Contact Us 411 Mercy Drive, Orlando, Fl 32805Ph: 407-295-1066 | F: 407-295-5299 Visit our other sites: Feed Hope Now Blog Partner Agencies gogreenback with Second Harvest Food Bank
Feeding Florida A Catalyst Kitchen Member Heart of Florida United Way A Member of Feeding America