PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – A Peoria culinary program is giving students a chance of a lifetime.
With the help of a new state grant, it’s giving these future chefs real-life experience and putting money in their pockets.
“I’ve always wanted to be a chef probably since I was little and my grandparents helped me get into experience,” said first-year student
Putting that dream into action Henderson joined the Warrior Way Café family in January. The program located at the Woodruff Career and Technical Center teaches culinary arts and hospitality management to high school students.
She said aside from cooking, she now has the opportunity to craft her skills in the real world.
“I have an internship at sous chef, it’s very fun and very interesting and very new to me. We usually make hummus and we’ve made my own recipe of my choice, sautéed chicken,” Henderson said.
It’s thanks to a new internship program, completely funded through a new state grant.
“Something really exciting that we received this year that we didn’t have previous years is that we have a work and earn internship program available,” said Jetty Miedema, instructor and head chef at Warrior Way Café.
The program places their students into real jobs across Peoria.
“The restaurant industry in Peoria has been amazing offering awesome positions and helping us out by taking those students in,” Miedema said.
It’s also putting money in their pockets.
“The grant actually pays them for their wages,” said Miedema.
Miedema has taught at Warrior Way for eight years now and she said the importance of teaching life-long skills is crucial because it gives students other options than college.
“Not all of our students go to college so to give them the skills that they can actually enter the workforce and be able to succeed that is just an awesome accomplishment for us,” said Miedema.