Missouri Restaurant Association recently announced that 2016 Clearwater High School graduate Nathan Yount had been awarded scholarships by the association’s Southeast Missouri and Greater St. Louis chapters. In receiving the awards, Nathan becomes part of the MRA scholarship class of 2017 – a group of 52 outstanding students from across the state.
Nathan attends East Central College in Union, MO and is pursuing an Associates Degree in Culinary Arts. He is on track to graduate in May of 2018 and receive his designation as a Certified Culinarian® from the American Culinary Federation. This past summer, he completed a paid internship at St. Louis Country Club. Upon completion of the internship, Nathan accepted a job at the club and currently works there five days per week while continuing his coursework, driving an hour each way to work and back.
After graduating from East Central, Nathan plans to complete the required 4,000 apprenticeship hours, plus the written and practical exams necessary to earn recognition as a Certified Sous Chef® by the ACF.
His career ambition does not end there. Nathan envisions becoming a Certified Executive Chef® – a designation requiring additional written and practical exams and the supervision of at least five full-time employees in the preparation of food throughout an additional 5-year apprenticeship. The process will take at least until May of 2025.
“Nathan’s talent, dedication, and ambition are commendable,” noted Chef Mike Palazzola, himself a Certified Executive Chef and the Culinary Program Coordinator at East Central. “It is uncommon to find those qualities in a person his age. He has a bright future ahead of him.”
During high school, Nathan participated in the ProStart® School-to-Career Program under the direction of CHS Family and Consumer Science educator Christy Johnson and was a member of the CHS ProStart culinary team. The program left its mark on him. “My roots are in ProStart,” Nathan commented in an interview at the college recently. “It was ProStart that confirmed my career goals and gave me the passion for continuing my culinary education.”
And Nathan left his mark on the program.
“I am so proud of Nathan and his determination to succeed,” wrote Mrs. Johnson in an email after being informed of his scholarship awards. “It was a joy to watch him demonstrate true leadership in the kitchen during his time here and observe him being so willing to work hard to achieve his goals. I am excited to see where this journey takes him.”
ProStart is a two-year career technical education program where high school students learn from an industry-derived, competency based curriculum that teaches culinary techniques and restaurant management skills, coupled with real-life restaurant sector experiences. In the 2017-2018 academic year, the Missouri ProStart Program, supported by the Missouri Restaurant Association in partnership with Family, Consumer Sciences and Human Services at the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, is working with over 100 high schools and career centers across the state to introduce nearly 6,000 students to career opportunities in the restaurant industry through the ProStart program. ProStart offers life changing opportunities for students and teaches industry specific and transferable employability skills.
With origins tracing back to 1916, the Missouri Restaurant Association is dedicated to serving the needs of the food service and hospitality industry, enhancing and improving its growth and development, assisting and educating its members in operating more efficiently, improving the political, economic, and social environment in which the industry conducts business, for the benefit of its members, patrons, employees, and the well-being of the community.
About the restaurant industry:
The restaurant industry in America creates 1,000 jobs a day, each and every day. One in three Americans gets their first job in a restaurant. From historical data, we know that from this group that begins in an entry level, hourly position will come 90 percent of tomorrow’s restaurant managers and 80 percent of future owners. Over the last five years, when the overall number of restaurants in the nation increased by 12 percent, the number of minority-owned restaurants grew at a rate over four times greater. The growth in middle- class jobs in the restaurant sector over the last five years has been four times that of the economy as a whole.
In Missouri, restaurants employ 11 percent of the state’s workforce – over 300,000 people. We are an industry where an individual can begin with no experience, and no formal education, and reach the middle class and beyond. The industry is the second largest private sector employer in America and Missouri and employs more women and minorities in management positions than does any other. Restaurant job creation consistently outpaces the overall private sector by a wide margin – and has for each of the last 17 years.
[Image: NATHAN YOUNT, a 2016 Clearwater High School graduate, who is now a student at East Central College in Union, MO., was recently awarded a scholarship to continue his culinary career. An extremely hard worker, Nathan is making a name for himself with his talent and dedication, according to East Central College officials. Yount, at right, is pictured in the teaching kitchen at East Central with Chef Mike Palazzola, CEC, the Culinary Program Coordinator at the college.]
[Source] Wayne County Journal-Banner. Wednesday, Aug 23rd