Adrian Aguilar first started as a CIT Intern back in the summer of 2013. He had been involved in gangs, drugs, organized crime, and armed robbery. Risk and violence was a part of his everyday life but, in June of 2013, it reached a breaking point. He was chased down and hit by a car, driven by two opposing gang members. That evening in the hospital, he promised himself to get out and start a new life for himself.
He came to Sprouts with little restaurant experience but after 4 weeks of training at The Boot and Shoe restaurant in Oakland, he was already turning heads. Impressed by his desire to learn, we reached out to the community to raise funds for him to train for two weeks in Girona, Spain alongside a Sprouts partner chef.
The day of his flight, Adrian had a panic attack and called in to cancel the trip. Already at the airport, Sprouts director pleaded with the airline manager to keep the gate open 15 more minutes. Adrian arrived at check-in at minute 14.
Today, Adrian refers to his trip to Spain as one of the most influential experiences of his life. He couldn’t be more grateful for the community’s donations to make his trip possible. He lives in the Bay Area, working as a chef at a local catering company and happily married with two children.