After his daughter passed away, James started to get into trouble. Despite his desire “to do right” and go to college, James descended on a downward spiral and ended up in prison.
When he heard about St. Mary’s Community Kitchen, he realized it was the perfect opportunity to pursue his passion for cooking and change his life for the better.
The Community Kitchen is a life skills and food service training program for those with barriers to employment. Students gain the skills to get jobs offering livable wages, benefits, and opportunities for advancement through hands-on food service training as well as classroom studies.
“I can’t wait. I want to work,” he says. “My goal is to finish and then get a job. I want to work in the kitchen. Whether I own a restaurant or I’m running a restaurant, that’s something I would love to do.”
As he prepares to complete the program, James says he is extremely grateful for the donors who support the Community Kitchen and make it possible for him to participate.
“I appreciate it a lot,” he said. “This is what I want to do with my life. Without the donors, this wouldn’t happen. It changed my life.”