From volunteer and client to student and graduate of St. Mary’s, one man turns his life around

LorenzoWhen the economic crash in 2008 forced the close of the investment banking firm he worked at, Lorenzo’s life changed. Despite his work experience, being university educated, and fluent in Spanish, French and Italian, he joined the millions of Americans who were unable to find other employment.

Now living with his sister and depending on public transportation, he was forced to become an occasional client of St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance but tries to avoid having to accept the emergency food boxes.

“We try to not to get a box because someone else needs it more than us,” he said.

But Lorenzo wasn’t content to sit around and wait for life to happen. He decided to donate his now free time to volunteering at St. Mary’s distribution center and it was here that he learned about our Community Kitchen program

“I wanted to do something different,” he said. “It was time for a change.”

Students of the 16-week life skills and food service training program for those with barriers to employment would stop by the distribution center to pick up their own emergency food boxes and he inquired about the program. Deciding to leave investment banking behind, he applied and was offered admission.

“The program helps you back on your feet,” Lorenzo explained. “It’s intense and you have to be very motivated … but they’ll take anyone who wants to learn.”

He not only completed the program but excelled and stayed on after completion to help train other students. His next goal is to work in the restaurant business. Community Kitchen changed his life and he encourages other to apply and “make an investment in yourself.”

To learn more about Community Kitchen, click here.

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