Jaylen James
Chef-In-Training Alumni


Generously Sponsored By: Dodge & Cox
Age, at time of Internship: 17
CIT Intern: Fall 2019
Restaurant Host: alaMar
Wraparound Program: Rudsdale Continuation School (OUSD)
Intern’s Story: At a young age, Jaylen witnessed an instance of gun violence that altered a friend’s life forever. From that day forward, he knew he needed to be proactive about seeking out opportunities to keep him occupied, out of the streets, and “out of trouble” in the years to come. With little formal cooking experience but a desire to be able to cook different dishes for himself and his family at home, Jaylen came to Sprouts’ Chef-In-Training Program. Outside of his internship, Jaylen also balances a second job at Lucky’s Supermarket. Jaylen cites his mother and family as huge sources of inspiration for him to work hard. He recalls how his mother often worked multiple jobs to keep food on the table during times when there wasn’t enough to eat. Jaylen finally feels at home in the kitchen with the alaMar staff alongside head chef & owner Nelson German. As a result of his Sprouts internship, Jaylen has become more confident in his ability to cook for himself and his family. He also feels less shy working on teams, after working in alaMar’s fast-paced kitchen. Jaylen has dreams of opening a restaurant for people in the emergency services and possibly serving as a firefighter.