In her own words -
"I didn’t grow up with a lot of money but I was fortunate enough to have an extended
family that wanted to help me succeed. My grandmother would give me $100 here or
there to help me put myself through college. My aunt Audrey, (my grandmother’s
daughter) was a huge support for me emotionally and financially when I was in my late
20’s. These women became two of my strongest mentors.
After I changed my career in 2006 and was committed to becoming a chef, I was
laser-focused on being the best I could be. I love to cook and it was a wonderful
challenge for me. I’ve been cooking professionally for 14 years now and have the
opportunity to pay it forward with my experience. I have young cooks ask me “how long
will it take me to become a chef?” I advise them to be patient, put your head down and
work, and become the obvious choice when there’s a promotion to be doled out.
restaurants I oversee. I invited 8 young, female culinarians to join me in creating a
dinner for this occasion. They were so honored and excited! Chefs are notorious for
being unresponsive to deadlines and communicating menus for special events. I took
this as an opportunity to teach our Kitchen Supervisors, Sous Chefs and Pastry Chefs
how to organize the menu, collaborate with one another, cost out their dishes, do a
tasting at least a week prior to the event and meeting deadlines. The dinner was a
success! Our goal was to sell 24 tickets with $50 from each ticket sale to benefit “Dress
for Success.” We ended up selling 35 tickets and donated $1750 to this incredible
organization that supports the empowerment of women.
I’d also like to give a shoutout to one of my girlfriends, Laura G. She was uncertain
about job security and hesitant to join us for the dinner. I made the decision to pay it
forward and invited her to be my guest as she has always been a huge support to me.
She is incredibly talented and has a small business called popofpaper.com. She paints
custom black-and-white pet portraits. I encourage you to support her small business! A
portion of her sales is donated to one of the local animal shelters. And that’s my mantra:
Pay it forward for continued success."
Participants in this project will be supporting the efforts of Dress for Success Worldwide – Central. We are all stronger together and it is my sincere hope that we will be inspired by each other’s stories. Now is the time to celebrate as well as encourage one another. Tell your story!***