CIT Highlights – 2016

Sprouts’ 2016 Community Updates

The Chef-in-Training Program has been keeping us on our toes! For the past 6 months, we’ve been busy training new interns, recruiting jobs for graduated CIT’s and building up our community of supporters and funders! We’re so excited to pause and a moment to reflect on the progress we’ve made and the impact we’ve created. While we’re at it, we thought you’d like to meet some of our Chef-in-Training interns and hear about our highlights!

New Chef-in-Training Video!

We’ll start out by showing you our latest Chef-in-Training video created by Debora Silva, our AmeriCorps Fellow. She has dedicated hours of her time to tell Sprouts’ story and inspire our community with the work we are doing! We are so lucky to have her!

Taste of Downtown SF Dinner Raises $15,000

On November 5th, we were spoiled rotten by 5 of the most talented chefs that downtown SF has to offer! The Exec Chefs of The Battery, One Market, Boulevard, Prospect, and Americano came together to craft a decadent 4-course dinner replete with pairings and a cocktail hour. Thanks to their talent and generosity, we were able to raise $15,000, which allowed us to fund three Chef-in-training interns that are currently being placed at Boulevard, One Market and Battery. We even had the honor of having Jamie Oliver’s Chef-in-Training alumni with us, working the line! You can see him in the above photo, cooking alongside Exec Chef Nicolai of The Battery.

AQ Benefit Dinner Raises $14,000

Chef Mark Liberman, a Chopped Champion and owner/ Exec Chef of AQ, graciously donated his team and restaurant for an incredibly special evening. Mark dazzled a packed house of Sprouts supporters and fans with a 5-course menu and helped us raise $14,000 for our Chef-in-Training program. We are so grateful for his generosity. A big thank you to Payton, a youth Food Network star, and Natalie, an aspiring youth baker, who volunteered to help the chefs cook for the event!

Meet Two of Our Current CIT Interns!

Christina (left) grew up in Oakland, in a neighborhood where, as she says, “You need to watch your back.” At an early age, her father left the family, which instigated a long line of emotional and financial issues. When her brother had an unexpected child a few years later, Christina took a year off school to help the family pay rent and grocery bills. She is currently trying to catch up on credits she missed at a continuation school. She hasn’t had it easy, but what she does know is that she loves to cook and she wants nothing more than to become a chef and to be able to make an honest living to support her family. Christina was just accepted to a Chef-in-Training internship at Boulevard and would be thrilled to have your support funding her 6 months of training alongside Exec Chef Dana Younkin.
Eric (right) finished the first half of his internship at alaMar in the spring and summer, and will be finishing the second half after he finishes his high school credits. With a high school and a CIT diploma in hand, he looks forward to starting a career in the restaurant industry! Eric is on the quieter side, but is a reliable addition to the kitchen and performs consistently. You can find some shots of Eric and Chef Nelson cooking in our CIT video.

Meet Two Of Our CIT Graduates!

Zaira (left) is our most recent graduate!  Though she had a shaky start at AlaMar, Zaira quickly turned that around with her eagerness to learn and her ability to think on her feet. She learned and mastered each task so quickly that she graduated from the internship a few months early! She is currently working as a full-time cook at AlaMar. Congratulations, Zaira, on a job well done!
Alondra (right) graduated with flying colors from her Chef-in-Training at Boulevard where she had an intense training under the tutelage of Exec Chef Dana Younkin. Having grown up in Mexico, Alondra said that her Spanish helped her get by in the kitchen. We will be helping place her at a restaurant job once she finishes up her high school degree, which she is currently working on!

Help Fund Two Upcoming Interns!

Shauntel (left) had a rough upbringing as she dealt with several deaths in her family due to gang violence and street culture. Having seen firsthand the consequences of drugs, violence and gang activity, Shauntel made a promise to herself to break out of the vicious cycle. She found support at Evergreen Lodge, a live-in facility for at-risk youth. Her dream is to become a chef, and she is waiting for Sprouts to raise the money needed to place her at One Market!
Aliyah (right) has faced severe medical issues which have kept her back from graduating from high school. She is currently enrolled at Bunche Academy, a continuation high school where she is receiving special assistance to finish her high school degree. Raised in West Oakland,  Aliyah grew up with violence and a culture of crime. She aims to steer clear from her peers that are involved with crime by learning how to become a chef and solidifying a career in the restaurant industry. She hopes to train at The Battery and would be thrilled to have your support to help pay for her internship cooking with Exec Chef Nicolai Lipscomb.

Help Sponsor an Apprentice!

We would love to have your help funding Shauntel or Aliyah, or the other 8 interns that we will be bringing on this winter. Changing lives around and getting interns set up with training and jobs doesn’t come easy! Although our mentor chefs volunteer their time to train our CIT interns, each apprenticeship costs us a little over $5000. This includes expenses such as insurance, CIT stipends, transportation and Americorps stipends and allows us to provide hours of culinary training and job coaching. We also handle weekly progress reports, wrap-around support, and additional training opportunities! If you are interested in sponsoring an individual apprentice or in making a general donation, please click on the link below or email us at!
For $20, you can pay for an entire day’s worth of training for a Chef-In-Training Intern!
For $200, you can pay for one month of training for an apprentice! This donation covers the apprentice’s stipend, staff meal, orientation, insurance, and restaurant placement.
For $600, you can sponsor 3 months of an apprentice’s training! This donation covers the apprentice’s stipend, staff meal, orientation, insurance, and restaurant placement.
For $1,200, you can pay for the entire 6 month training of an apprentice! This covers the apprentice’s stipend, orientation, and restaurant placement! Sprouts will cover the insurance, mentorship, check-ins and progress reports, job training, and job placement!

Thank You to Our 2016 Donors!

Mike Lin, East Bay Community Foundation, Facebook, Google, Apple, San Francisco Foundation, Hoskin Family, Jonas Family Fund, East Bay Community Foundation, 4505 Meats, Oaklandish, Challenge to Learn, Hotel Vitale, AQ, Eileen Seigel, Toast, Bison Brewery, Salesforce, Kaiser Permanente, Adobe,  Charitable Gift Fund, Dwight Moore, Salesforce, Thomas Bednarz, Giffy Foundation, and Wouter Vermeulen.