Student grateful for opportunity to learn new skills; career goals set

September 29, 2020

Learning new skills in a new environment can be challenging on an ordinary day. Those challenges are magnified – but not impossible – during the COVID pandemic. In the end, though, the long-term benefits are worthwhile.

Just ask Wayne Reed, a student in the Food Bank of Delaware’s Culinary School in Milford. The Culinary School is a 14-week program for unemployed, underemployed, reentering citizens, individuals with disabilities and those in career transition that teaches basic and high-end kitchen skills, ServSafe training, and life skills, culminating with a – week paid work experience. In FY19, 70 students graduated from the Culinary School.

Reed, like many of our Culinary School graduates, has overcome other challenges, so he’s been willing to try something new. He was homeless in Wilmington and said he learned about opportunities at the Culinary School through his social services advocate.

“I’m here for a fresh start. I’ve been reluctant to try anything dealing with school; it’s been challenging,” he said.

“I need to study more. Chef Tish – a chef instructor — and Miss Ruthann — workforce training program manager – are hard taskmasters, but they teach you what it’s going to take in the cooking world,” Reed added.

His enthusiasm is obvious. He says learning food preparation and about kitchen sanitation have piqued his interests.

“I enjoy cooking, and I like to eat,” he said. While he enjoys barbecuing ribs, his career goal to successfully complete this class. Graduation is planned for Oct. 20. “That’s the first step. My career goal is to be successful.”

Click here to learn more about the Culinary School and other workforce training programs through Delaware Food Works.

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