Mikey Quintana
Chef-In-Training Alumni


Generously Sponsored By: Straus Family Creamery
Age, at time of Internship: 17
CIT Intern: Fall 2014
Restaurant Host: Nojo
Wraparound Program: MetWest High School
Mikey’s Story: Mikey began selling cocaine when he was just 8 years old and then, stealing cars. He struggled with smoking pot and performance at school. He skipped class whenever he could get away with it. After his mother fell ill and died, he resolved to turn things around for himself and “make her proud.” In addition to building his culinary skills, Chef Greg from Nojo and our team at Sprouts worked very closely with Mikey to help him develop the life skills needed to maintain a job in the real world. Battling the loss of his mother and deep-seated habits, he didn’t always have an easy time. But he worked incredibly hard and was able to successfully graduate from the program.
After Sprouts: Post-internship, Mikey was hired on at Nojo and then went on to cook at local restaurants in Oakland.
Check out Mikey’s story here!


“I’ve always been interested in food, and (with Sprouts) I get to be in a real restaurant and work with professionals.”