Before 18-year-old John* came to The Bridge, he hardly knew anything about cooking. "The most I did," he recalls, "is put something in the microwave. Cooking was something only my parents did!" Now, as head cook at The Bridge for the past few months, and one of five boys working in The Bridge kitchen, John is learning much more than cooking-he's learning essential life skills like responsibility and goal-setting.
As head cook at The Bridge for the past few months, and one of five boys working in The Bridge kitchen, John is learning much more than cooking.
The Bridge’s seven-year partnership with Bucks County Technical High School allows John and six of his classmates the opportunity to attend culinary classes twice weekly. "We teach them all the fundamentals of working in a commercial kitchen," says Dave Farris, director of operations at The Bridge. "Many of our boys have enjoyed the experience so much that they've gone on to pursue careers and education in cuisine." John may be one of those. He is applying for an internship at Community College of Philadelphia that would allow him to cook during the day and study culinary arts in the evening. "I love cooking," John says. "I like making what I want to eat for myself; I feel like I accomplished something."
*Name changed for confidentiality