Employed: H.A.V.E. Catering Staff
At age 60 I suffered sudden and severe hearing loss to the point I could no longer continue working in my chosen profession.
Unemployed and facing homelessness it became my good fortune to happen across a flyer on a downtown bulletin board for the H.A.V.E. Culinary Training Society. Although I had little to no experience in the food preparation field I contacted the intake counselor and was given an appointment that very day.
I found the counselor to be extremely warm and friendly. The concerns I had regarding no practical kitchen experience were quickly put to rest as this was the case of many of the students who had gone through the program. Intake happened amazingly quick, just a few days after my initial interview.
From day one I started to learn real industry skills from both knowledgeable and very talented instructors and even though I had a severe hearing concern the time was taken by each instructor to make sure I understood the kitchen instruction of the day.
The kitchens themselves, there are three, each allowing for specific function instruction are quite well appointed and are very practical for culinary instruction. Each day we were taught a new skill with instructors providing as much one on one instruction as was necessary to fully understand the lesson of the day. In what seemed like a very short time I was working on my own creating soups, baking and preparing full meals that just weeks earlier I had no idea how to create. The training, eight weeks in total, seemed to zoom bye and before I knew it I was graduating.
Although I would have never suspected it when I started, the H.A.V.E. Culinary Training Program has turned out to be one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my 45 year career. I can’t thank Chef Amber Anderson and her professional staff enough for helping me regain my confidence and help restore my dignity. I’m really not sure where I would be today without their help and I strongly encourage anyone who is experiencing personal barriers to employment to contact H.A.V.E. I’m sure, like myself, you’ll be glad you have