“Now I Can Do Anything”

Nina has always loved to cook. As a stay at home mom, she prepared scratch-cooked meals for her family. Her husband had a good, steady job in maintenance for an apartment complex but sometimes it was not enough. She visited a food pantry to help keep food on the table.

As her daughters grew up, Nina started to find work outside of the house, mostly cleaning houses. She used her income to take online cooking classes, or baking and decorating classes at a craft store. Nina wanted nothing more than to go to culinary school, but it was just too expensive. Then she learned about Second Harvest’s Culinary Training Program.

“At first I was nervous and scared,” she explained. “I didn’t know if I had the capacity to keep up with the younger students.”

Over the course of 16 weeks, Nina and her classmates learned the skills needed to pursue a sustainable career in the foodservice industry. The learned food safety and sanitation, honed their knife skills and techniques to prepare cuisine from around the world. Nina’s favorite was making fresh pasta.

“They took me out of my comfort zone and, thanks to that, now I can do anything,” said Nina.

Today Nina is putting her newfound skills to the test at Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resorts.

“I appreciate you with all of my heart.”

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