The last place any parent wants to raise their children is in a homeless shelter. After a series of unfortunate events, including job loss and domestic violence, Qui and her sons were living in an emergency shelter. She’d hit rock bottom.
"So many bad things had happened that I felt like I would never find success,” explained Qui. “I felt pretty hopeless about myself and our situation."
Qui confided in her social worker at the shelter that she had always loved to bake. When she learned about Second Harvest's Culinary Training Program, she knew this was the opportunity she needed to turn her life around.
For 16 weeks, Qui worked diligently to soak up as much knowledge as she could. Working in a commercial kitchen was much different than any baking she'd ever done before. She learned safe food handling skills, how to properly use a knife and prepare cuisines from around the world. Most importantly, she learned financial literacy skills that will be the foundation for her household now that she has found employment.
"Four months ago, I was a completely different person," Qui recalls. "Second Harvest has given me my life back, and my confidence."
The Program is provided free of charge thanks to the support of community partners like the Westgate Foundation. Because of our caring community, Qui has found a new, sustainable career as a market cook at Hyatt Regency Orlando that provides stability for her and her sons. She dreams of one day owning her own bakery.
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, click here.