Thank you providing a Catalyst Kitchens student with a student training kit and support. Your generosity supported Jayna. You can find her story below.
“FareStart is a real healing place. You come to FareStart broken down and beat up and you are met with such acceptance. I could not have put myself back together again. FareStart did that for me.” –Jayna
Jayna came to FareStart to learn how to cook, but she received so much more including confidence, career options, food, and health. “FareStart was like CPR,” Jayna says. “It resuscitated life back into me.”
For 24 years, Jayna had been a nurse but eventually lost her license due to drug and alcohol abuse. “I had a career, money, integrity, dignity, a house, a car, kids and grandkids that loved me–and I lost it all.” She landed in rehabilitation at Thunderbird Treatment Center with a strong sense that she had hit rock bottom. “I did not see any hope at all and I didn’t see any way out, but I heard about FareStart and it lit a candle on my cake.” Jayna enrolled at FareStart on November 12, 2010–her 55th birthday.
For Jayna, FareStart was a win-win situation. “If you make it through the 16 weeks, you’re on your way to fly like an eagle. And even if you don’t make it through the 16 weeks, there’s no way you’re going to turn your back on life again because you’ve gotten a taste of work, laughter, good food, sleep, new friends, and people trying. You come to FareStart feeling like a loser, with low self-esteem and a feeling that there is no way out. But the chefs make sure they don’t make you feel that way, and they start to put you back together again–mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. And look at me now, I am happier getting burns on my hands and cutting pineapples for ten hours a day than I was working in an ER. Now I get to see a different side of life and I am having a lot of fun feeding people and getting the most out of food! Working with food has a ripple effect; it gives you a purpose to be important in society. I will always do something with food.”
During her final weeks in the program, Jayna secured a job on a cruise ship in Hawaii. In May 2012, Janya took on another exciting new adventure to work at the Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone National Park.
Catalyst Kitchens – a national initiative of FareStart – works to replicate, strengthen, and scale foodservice social enterprises that provide job and life skills training for individuals facing significant barriers to employment. Catalyst Kitchens is a collaborative network of nearly 40 organizations with a shared vision empower individuals through comprehensive, applied training; operate sustainable foodservice social enterprises; and provide nutritious meals for communities in need.
Your generous donations, Susan, Darnell, and Alyce, will prepare students like Jayna for successful job training by providing essential ingredients like uniforms, hot meals, medical benefits and transitional housing.
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Thank you providing a Catalyst Kitchens student with a ‘life and employability’ skill training program. Your generosity supported Shon. You can find his story below.
“If you want to change your life, you need to decide to do it. Anyone can open the door for you, but it’s up to you to walk through it.” — Shon
In 2010, Shon turned 53 and decided it was time to turn his life around. Having grown up with six sisters who were always in the kitchen cooking, Shon knew he had an interest in the culinary arts. After years of arrests and time spent in jail, Shon found out about FareStart while at a local treatment center.
When he first applied to FareStart, Shon thought he would have a hard time getting into the program because of his rocky past, but discovered that he was met with acceptance and encouragement. He enrolled in the program and felt an instant excitement about being back in the kitchen. He bonded with the chefs and enjoyed learning new skills and “kitchen lingo,” so much that he did not want to leave at the end of the program. “I could have stayed at FareStart forever if they let me,” Shon recently said. When asked about his favorite part of the program, Shon said (besides working on the line), he appreciated that the counselors worked one-on-one with him teaching him life skills, and that everyone seemed to take an interest in his progress.
Shon graduated from FareStart in July and currently works as a dishwasher at Etta’s, a Tom Douglas restaurant. Shon’s short term goal is to get an apartment in his own name and his long term goal is to enjoy a stable, satisfying, and drug-free life. His personal philosophy for success is, “If you want to change your life, you need to decide to do it. Anyone can open the door for you, but it’s up to you to walk through it.”
Catalyst Kitchens – a national initiative of FareStart – works to replicate, strengthen, and scale foodservice social enterprises that provide job and life skills training for individuals facing significant barriers to employment. Catalyst Kitchens is a collaborative network of nearly 40 organizations with a shared vision — empower individuals through comprehensive, applied training; operate sustainable food service social enterprises; and provide nutritious meals for communities in need.
Your generous donation, Susan, Alyce, Brian, and MSAF, will provide students like Shon with essential wrap around services during the training program as well as life and employability training to both get and keep a job. This includes skills such as resume writing, interviewing, personal presentation, and job negotiation.
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