Meet Clarimar

A few years ago, Clarimar and her husband escaped from the rising violence, economic instability and food shortages in Venezuela. Once they arrived in Central Florida, they set out to rebuild their lives.

Clarimar always loved to bake, but never thought it could be career until she enrolled in Second Harvest's Culinary Training Program. The 16-week program prepares economically disadvantaged adults for a sustainable career in the food industry. Clarimar and her classmates learned food safety, knife skills and techniques to prepare cuisines from around the world.

A hard worker, Clarimar excelled in the kitchen and overcame a language barrier to earn the Top Student award at graduation. She has gone on to win professional baking competitions, prepare delectable desserts at local hotels and create custom cakes through her own small business.

"I learn something new every day," says Clarimar. "That's what I love most about working in pastry."

After enduring many ups and downs over the last several years, Clarimar is proud to be working full time at an upscale hotel restaurant. She credits the life skills classes at Second Harvest, including those on financial literacy and money management, for helping her weather the storms. Despite a temporary furlough earlier this year, Clarimar and her husband are proud to be new homeowners, putting down roots in a place to call home this holiday season.

"Thank you for believing in me and encouraging me every step of the way."
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