By Guest Blogger Ann Schmidt of Evans Community High School
100 Women Strong and Second Harvest Food Bank partnered with Evans High School to provide 13 students with nine-weeks of culinary arts training. These students were chosen based on an essay in their application and overall desire to pursue culinary arts as a career. The students were ecstatic to hear that they were recommended to apply for the program and to hear that they were accepted. We were very fortunate that we could give thirteen of our most deserving students an opportunity to learn from the best.
Students were bused from Evans to Second Harvest once per week for this two-hour program. While they were at Second Harvest, they were able to learn skills in food preparation, food storage, baking, and cooking in a state of the art kitchen. Students were then able to take the food that they made in class home to their families. Several students at Evans deal with food insecurity and were so happy that they could contribute to their family while doing something they love. This opportunity would have otherwise only been a dream for our students.
As the After-School Programs Coordinator at Evans, I was fortunate to see the kids during the school day, before they left for Second Harvest, and again when they got off the bus to get picked up by their parents. I can honestly say that this program made a difference for our students. Every time I spoke with any of the students about the program, they were elated. Each of them would get this BIG smile on their face as they would tell me about what they made or were about to make, and how they were going to share what they learned with their family. We had one student who struggled with attendance and was able to meet her attendance goals because she wanted to stay in the program. All students were disappointed to see the program come to an end.
We are so thankful to have this opportunity with Second Harvest. Our students have had the opportunity to grow and shine in invaluable ways.
After-School Programs Coordinator
Evans Community High School