Culinary School Student Spotlight: Jackie Joyner

June 26, 2019

By Kate Grabowski, Communications Intern

After thirty years in the food business, Jackie could have never imagined she would be learning new things everyday with the help of The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware.

Things haven’t always been easy for this star student.

With the birth of her grand kids more than ten years ago, she knew her life had to change. Struggling with addiction, she told herself, “I am going to have these kids be proud of their Grandma.” Jackie claims she would have never made it to where she is without the support of her family, attributing them as her biggest push to get clean. Jackie is celebrating 10 years of sobriety!

Wanting to further her education, she enrolled at Delaware Technical Community College to pursue an associate’s degree. “I wanted to do this for myself, I was ready to put in the work,” she says.

She enjoyed her time at Del Tech, but realized it was not exactly what she was looking for.  So Jackie continued to look for other options, eventually joining The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware.

The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware provides valuable job training to adults. The 14-week program includes 12 weeks (daytime hours) of hands-on training in basic and high-end kitchen skills, safe food handling and life skills. The training culminates with a two-week paid work experience at a food service company, restaurant, or catering company

Since starting the culinary program this past May, Jackie says, “I laugh and I smile more than I have in a long time since I have been here. I have a ball here, I have not missed a day. I get up every morning just looking forward to coming in.”

She is not only learning more about herself and cooking, she is learning something new each day from her classmates. “Everyone has something new to teach me, everyone knows something I don’t,” Jackie points out.

After graduation she is not sure what she is going to do, but is excited by the prospects and all the new things she has learned.  Jackie says she might go back to school to continue her education or work part-time. One thing she does know is she will definitely will be coming back to the Food Bank to volunteer—“they can’t get rid of me that easy.”

Interested in a career in the food service industry? The next class of The Culinary School in Newark and Milford begins September 3. Click here to learn more!

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