How young adults spend their free time is pivotal to their growth and development. Especially for teens living below the poverty line, what they do outside of school can make or break their future. Research clearly shows that supplying young adults with dynamic programming during their free time allows them to build crucial skills for future success.
Without positive structured activities, teens can get involved in situations that can harm their potential for success. However, access to enriching extracurriculars is highly dependent on family income, putting teens from low-income households at a greater risk.
At Meir Panim, we recognize this issue and offer a wide range of after-school programs for at-risk teens in our communities to ensure their personal and professional growth.
This year, we launched the Young Chef Training Program, a pilot program in partnership with the Maytal Teen Center, to give underprivileged youth an opportunity to learn fundamental leadership and teambuilding skills through the culinary arts. From learning to cook and plate restaurant-quality dishes to understanding how to build a menu and manage a team, our participants received comprehensive training on the ins and outs of the culinary business.
With twenty-teens participating in the twenty-four-session course, the Young Chef Training Program, in our eyes, was a smashing success. Surviving multiple COVID-19 lockdowns and even a war, our teens remained committed to the program, eager to learn more.
The incredible chef instructors from the Maytal Center led the courses, providing a tremendous amount of love, care, and patience in training our teens in the culinary arts.
We have heard countless stories of participants using their newfound skills to cook delicious treats for their families. Even more impressive, a couple of participants have already been hired by local restaurants because of the training and experience they received. These are prime examples of how our programs help at-risk teens build crucial skills to break the cycle of poverty.
We are sad to see the program come to an end, but are incredibly proud of everything our young chefs have accomplished. While we hope to continue this program for years to come, we can only make that happen with your support. We cannot wait to see what the future holds for these young adults, but we know it is bright!