To Our ProStart Community:
2020 has been a challenging year for the ProStart Program nationwide. With the impact of the pandemic projected to continue this year and into 2021, we are continuing to seek the best ways to support our ProStart students, teachers, key stakeholders, and SRAs. After careful reflection, the NRAEF has determined the best course of action is to cancel next spring’s NPSI, and to use funds otherwise spent on NPSI to support ProStart programmatically via additional ProStart Program funds in each state.
In a year when many schools are struggling to implement ProStart and many state restaurant associations are seeing reduced funds from supporters, we do not feel conducting NPSI is advisable or that we could execute a national competition safely and equitably. As you know, many schools are virtual for the foreseeable future which makes fielding teams difficult; many have prohibited any form of travel for the year; and a number are struggling to maintain their commitment to offer ProStart at all due to budget cuts. We believe the best use of our funds is to redirect them to support this incredible program and all its Students and Educators, and to help see them through a challenging year. We recognize that this decision will disappoint some of our Students, Educators and Coordinators. We understand and are just as disappointed we will not be able to see the teams shine on the national competition floor this year.
We will outline for our State Restaurant Association partners the acceptable uses of the additional funds as well as the exact amount each state will receive. We are also exploring alternative ways to support our ProStart Students and Educators during these challenging times, whether that’s via scholarships, special training opportunities, virtual events and/or ongoing support as needed. Should you have questions about the process or funds, please reach out to us at ProStart@nraef.org. We know these are difficult times for everyone, but we are confident we will see this school year through and come back stronger than ever, celebrating together at the National ProStart Invitational in 2022.
Thank you for your dedication and continued support in empowering the next generation of restaurant leaders.
National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation