Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida held a virtual ceremony on Monday, December 6, to celebrate graduates of its Culinary Training Program. The live, online ceremony recognized 21 students who successfully completed the 16-week course.
“We couldn’t be more proud of this graduating class,” said Dave Krepcho, president and CEO at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. “Each graduate has shown incredible dedication to reach this milestone, and we can’t wait to see what they do next. We’re grateful to local supporters and employers, for making days like this possible.”
Graduates heard encouraging words from Sofi, who completed the program three years ago. When she enrolled in the program, Sofi was working a part-time job that did not provide enough hours or steady income. Her family lived in a cramped apartment and they did not have a car. After graduation, she went to work at Universal Studios Orlando where she applied her culinary skills and life skills training, including goal setting and financial literacy. Now she has her own car and her family lives in a home that they own.
Renowned Chef Hari Pulapaka delivered the keynote speech to inspire graduates in their new career pursuits. Among his advice, Chef Hari encouraged graduates to have a small fear of failure but not to be afraid of success. You can watch the full ceremony, including remarks from Sofi, Hari, and Dave below. The opening slideshow includes photos of students throughout the course of the program along with congratulatory messages submitted by donors, supporters and A Spoon Full of Hope customers.