On Tuesday, February 12th, TEEM hosted the first Culinary Arts Graduation of 2019. The ceremony consisted of appetizers prepared by the graduates, speeches from LifeChurch partners, and an impactful testimony from TEEM participant Catherine.
Dosha House has participated in TEEM’s Reentry services for over a year. She completed Phase 1 and 2 of the service model and graduated from the culinary arts program last fall. She was apprehensive when beginning the Reentry program because she didn’t know what to expect. Later, she realized that TEEM was providing her a hand up, rather than a hand out.
The culinary arts program allowed her to pursue her passion of cooking and provided useful skills and knowledge to apply towards a future job. Dosha hopes of owning her own restaurant some day. She dreams of opening a country-style restaurant, “with good home-cooking just like momma would make,” said Dosha.
“Dosha is such a joy to have at TEEM,” said Paige Copple, Reentry Case Manager. “She has a passion and joy for life that’s really encouraging to everyone around her.”
Dosha will be released from Oklahoma County Community Corrections Center in the near future, and plans to live with family and start a fresh life.
On Tuesday, January 22nd, TEEM launched the first Culinary Arts Certification Class of 2019. The class teaches basic kitchen safety, culinary techniques, and customer service training. The program is desinged to empower justice-involved individuals through the culinary arts.
“The program provides a new perspective on cooking,” said Brianna Dupuis, Reentry Participant. “I never cooked much before and it’s cool to learn how to make so many different things with just a couple of steps.”
The initiative is made possible through a community collaboration consisting of It's My Community Initiative, Metro Technology Centers, the Oklahoma Department of Career Technology and Education, and the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Certified instructors from Metro Technology provide the training necessary for participants to pass their ServeSafe and OSHA exams.
“The culinary program empowers our participants in so many ways,” said Abby Otto, Reentry Site Supervisor. “It teaches them teamwork, customer service, and culinary skills that they can use to secure employment.
The graduation ceremony will be held on Tuesday, February 12th at 12:30 p.m. in TEEM’s Community Room. Jeff Galley, Central Group Leader of LifeMissions and LifeGroups at LifeChurch will be the keynote speaker during the ceremony. The culinary class will prepare the food for the reception. All are welcome to attend the event.
On Friday, January 25th, students participated in and received certificates for completing Forklift Certification. This training is made possible by a community partnership with Metro Technology Centers, It’s My Community Initiative, Oklahoma Department of Corrections, and the Oklahoma County Public Defender’s Office.
The training provides participants with skills necessary to safely operate a forklift in a warehouse or commercial setting. An instructor from Career Technology teaches the basic rules of forklift safety before administering the actual driving test.