Congratulations, Graduates!

Congrats to the 12 graduates of the Cohort 36 who graduated on Thursday, September 19! We are so proud of you and your remarkable achievement in the Kitchen of Champions program! Thank you to Oakland Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney, who presented the keynote address and helped give out awards.

We look forward to the achievements of the next cohort and future cohorts to come. We are all champions!

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Graduation Invitation

Graduation for the 36th Cohort will take place on Thursday, September 19, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Dining Room, 675 23rd Street, Oakland, 94612. All are invited! We celebrate the achievements of our graduating Kitchen of Champions class, as well as our other job-training program, the Champion Workforce transitional employment program.

Our keynote speaker for this class will be Oakland City Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney, whose District 3 includes the West Oakland neighborhood that surrounds our Dining Room and Community Center.

Graduation!

“Invite me to your restaurants!” Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said to the Kitchen of Champions graduates, as she concluded her keynote address.

quanLast Thursday, June 20th, Kitchen of Champions Cohort 35 graduated from the St. Vincent de Paul’s intensive culinary program.

graduation1The packed room enjoyed a program with speakers: Mayor Jean Quan; Culinary Services Coordinator, Nic Ming; Executive Chef Instructor, Chef Robert Dorsey; and program Alumni. Stanley Wilkes Jr. (below) from Cohort 32 who now works in the St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room said the experience “changed the course of my life.”

StanWilkesJrThe real treat was hearing from the 17 graduates themselves:

“They gave me an opportunity to make a change in my life.” – Rodney Lewis

marchant“Go out there and cook with love” – Salina Mares (below)

salina“They truly rescued me” – Deserie Martin

Congratulations Cohort 35!

graudationPhotos courtesy of Jose Montoya Photography