For the teen who dreams of being the world’s best pastry chef, there’s a place they can go to cook up kitchen experience, friendships and social skills. It’s called The Portland Kitchen.
As a nonprofit, The Portland Kitchen is open to all teens ages 14-18, but specifically targets underserved youths during recruitment. The no-cost year-long program makes it easier for teens of all kinds of economic situations to jump on board. It’s a way for youths to learn everything from basic kitchen safety and lessons about teamwork, to how to whip up a soufflé.
The organization’s founder, Abigail Herrera, started planning this project in 2010. She saw a need for a culinary program that would open doors for youths who wanted or needed the hands-on kitchen experience. So, she created a program that would be a safe space for culinary career development as well as social skill building.
And now graduates of The Portland Kitchen walk away with knowledge of healthy eating habits, a SafeServ certificate, job experience for their resume, a letter of recommendation and memories of a great community-building year. In order to create long-term sustainability, the organization has decided to reorganize. During this time, TPK will not be offering any programming. Visit their blog for updates on this transition.
This week we’re digging into the archives to feature The Portland Kitchen as a part of our award-winning Community Voices series. Key members of the organization share their insights below:
Original Air Date: March 21st 2016
Original Blog Credit: Nastacia Voisin