"My life has changed for the better," says Shandra. Four years ago she was working as a gas station assistant manager. Without the confidence and skills she needed for a sustainable career, she was stuck in a low-paying job with little hope of advancement.
Married with four kids, Shandra decided it was time to invest in her future, and theirs. Shandra reduced her hours at the gas station and her husband took on a second job so she could enroll in Second Harvest's 16-week Culinary Training Program. Available free of charge for qualified, at-risk and economically disadvantaged adults, the Program teaches culinary and life skills training needed to pursue a sustainable career in the food industry.
"I began to believe in myself for the first time."
Shandra learned food safety, knife skills, mother sauces and how to cook cuisine from around the world. She also focused on the life skills she needed to be successful, like teamwork, communication, financial literacy and resume writing.
"I tell everyone that it's never too late. If you have a goal, or a dream that you want to do, do it."
Today, Shandra is proud to work a job she loves as the lead breakfast cook at a retirement community. The hours allow her to spend nights and weekends with her family.
"I'm grateful to everyone who has had a role in helping me get to where I am today. Thank you for supporting the Culinary Training Program."