From the time she was young, Marie has wanted to own her own business. She knew education would be the key to her success, but it was always just out of reach. A single mother with a 16-month-old daughter, she was juggling work as a prep cook with the stress of a young child when a friend told her about the Culinary Training Program at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.
Marie entered the program to expand her culinary skills, learn different cuisines and gain a better understanding of essential life skills like communication, teamwork, budgeting and interviewing. “Education is everything,” Marie explains, adding, “This program is helping me prepare for a career, not just a job.”
Marie’s dedication is already paying dividends. While completing the program, her employer at Orlando International Airport recognized her new skills and raised her hourly rate. Her goal is to work hard, keep learning and one day open a restaurant.
“In my heart I’m celebrating,” Marie says. “I’m thankful for the program and the supporters that made it possible. They provided me with the training and the tools to be successful, everything, including the shoes.”
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.