Our Team

Bobby Pennington
Donor Coordinator
Payton-luv Stine
Social Media & Communications
Hannah Rubino
Chef Training Director


Generously Supported By: Clover Sonoma
Age, at time of Internship: 22
CT Intern: Summer 2023
Restaurant Host: Shaws Candy, Chef Harper
Referred By: The Arc
Intern Story:

Meet Chef Trainee Marie (“M”), who has been interning at Shaws Candy in San Francisco with Chef Harper and the Shaws SF team. HUGE congratulations to Marie who has done such a stellar job as an intern, she has been hired at Shaws Candy!!

Marie had never thought about a career in the culinary field until she was inspired to learn to cook by her sister, a chef in a bakery. She would like to be able to cook Lithuanian dishes like her sister and share her knowledge with friends. Marie loves to read with a special fondness for Harry Potter, but has had to strive hard at reading given the hardships of her childhood – she was born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder in Lithuania and also has speech and auditory processing problems. She now lives with her adoptive parents here in California. These challenges have obviously not stood in Marie’s way given her success during her internship with Shaws Candy. Marie’s chef mentor Harper states that she has a strong attention to detail and is one of the most positive people he has ever met. We’re so proud of you, Marie!

Kari Cooper
Development Director
Camryn Hellwarth
Associate Executive Director
Marissa Doiron
Human Resources


Generously Supported By: Morgan Stanley
Age, at time of Internship: 16
CT Intern: Summer 2023
Restaurant Host: Waterbar, Chef Parke Ulrich and Josh Su
Referred By: Enterprise For Youth
Intern Story:

Sara has had a sweet tooth for as long as she can remember. She followed her interest in sweets and began watching videos of baking tutorials on Youtube, after which she would bake for herself as practice. Sara was able to continue pursuing her passion for baking at a professional level in the Summer of 2023 with the Sprouts Chef Training Program during her internship at Waterbar. There, Sara worked under Chef Parke and Chef Josh. 

During her internship, Sara preferred to focus on pastries and began learning the ins and outs of working in a bakery. She especially enjoyed plating beautiful desserts and earned the opportunity to practice her chocolate writing using piping bags. During her internship, Sara was also able to improve her macaron-baking skills. A highlight of her work was being able to bring her hard work home for her family to sample and enjoy.  

Sara specifically chose to join the Sprouts Chef Training program to pursue her passions. She is still working on finding a career path she enjoys and used her internship to explore her existing interests. From a young age, Sara was aware of her family’s financial limitations and felt she needed to be strategic in selecting an extracurricular she felt strongly about and that would help her grow professionally. Sara was dually enrolled in her internship as well as summer coursework and her dual participation helped her improve her ability to work with new people and practice time management.  

Sara continues her exploration of self both inside and outside the kitchen. When she is not baking, she enjoys playing card games and is a member of her school’s bridge club. Sara also enjoys reading short stories and manga. Sara is grateful for the opportunity Morgan Stanley provided her by supporting her internship and left the Sprouts Chef Training program as a more well-rounded young professional. 


Generously Supported By: Sprouts Community Member + Open Table
Age, at time of Internship: 16
CT Intern: Summer 2023
Restaurant Host: One Market, Chef Mark Dommen
Referred By: Oakland Unified School District (OUSD)
Intern Story:

Ra’Mauri arrived at his Sprouts Chef Training program with experience: he had already completed an internship with the Ralph Bunche Culinary Academy with Chef David. There, he worked as a student chef at the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) central kitchen where school lunches are designed, tested, and prepared from scratch. The positive feedback Ra’Mauri received from Chef David encouraged his passion for cooking and, therefore, launched his internship with the Sprouts Chef Training Program under mentor Chef Mark Dommen at One Market.

One of the reasons Ra’Mauri was selected for the Sprouts Chef Training program is that he strives to excel at everything he does. Ra’Mauri worked to build on the food preparation basics he learned at the Ralph Bunche Academy and greatly improved his knife skills over the course of his internship. Ra’Mauri also grew in his efficiency and precision in chopping vegetables, such as onions, and learned how to prepare dishes like coleslaw and latkes under Chef Mark.

Ra’Mauri has several role models that inspire him to cook, the first being his grandmother. He enjoys cooking for her and learning from her. Another role model in Ra’Mauri’s life is Alexander, the first winner of Master Chef Junior, who inspired Ra’Mauri to enter (and win) a cooking competition of his own. His last main role model is Snoop Dogg because, in addition to being a famous musician, he pursues and excels at other interests as well, like cooking. Similar to his idols, Ra’Mauri has a variety of unique talents and interests. Outside of perfecting his cooking skills, Ra’Mauri is a passionate drummer, artist, and enthusiast of science and engineering. With his drive and cooking background, culinary school is a strong possibility in Ra’Mauri’s future.


Generously Supported By: Open Table
Age, at time of Internship: 16
CT Intern: Summer 2023
Restaurant Host: Anaviv’s Table, Chef Darren Lee and Chef Arnon Oren
Referred By: City Youth Now
Intern Story:

Kevin began his internship at Anaviv’s Table with the goal of expanding his recipe repertoire. He felt confident in his omelets, quesadillas, and pupusas, but wanted to be able to prepare a wider variety of dishes for himself and his family. Kevin additionally wanted to gain cooking skills before leaving for college so that he could feed himself more creative dishes beyond cooked eggs. Kevin got the perfect opportunity to obtain his developmental goals under mentors Chef Arnon and Chef Darren. 

Kevin’s internship began by strengthening his knife skills. Chef Darren demonstrated to him the safest way to cut and prepare veggies and had him practice a variety of techniques. As Kevin improved his knife skills doing kitchen prep, he also grew closer to the other kitchen staff. Wanting to keep busy, Kevin found himself reaching out to his coworkers to see how he could assist them and try new experiences in the kitchen. Over the course of his internship, Kevin also picked up effective seasoning techniques, such as sprinkling salt from high over the dish, rather than close to it, to ensure even seasoning. 

Kevin used his internship with Sprouts Chef Training to investigate his interests and learn more about himself. When he is not cooking or studying, he enjoys dancing, including hip-hop, contemporary jazz, salsa, and ballet. Kevin is still deciding what he wants from his future and works hard at school to maximize his options. Kevin is grateful to Open Table for supporting his internship and giving him the chance to use his kind, curious, and open mind to explore his personal and professional development.