NRAEF : Blog

National Mentoring Month

by | Jan 17, 2020 | Blog Post |

January is National Mentoring Month!  The NRAEF is all about helping people from all backgrounds find meaningful jobs and careers, and a great way to advance and improve upon your skills is to seek out a mentor who can help you along the way.

Most of the NRAEF’s programs have a built-in way for its participants to benefit from mentorship – see below for more on how important mentorship is to the success of our programs.

Utah ProStart student about their mentor, their ProStart Educator:

“My ProStart Educator is the most amazing, dedicated, crazy, awesome, inspiring, encouraging and passionate teacher! Working with her, I was able to do more than I ever thought I could have done. It was due to her encouragement and support that I have had some of the most amazing opportunities of my life; one of which being the chance to compete at the National ProStart Invitational for Management Team. She has been such a blessing in my life and in so many other students lives. I am currently in culinary school and still competing because of her, and I couldn’t be more grateful!”

Sgt. Darnell Morris, Participant in the NRAEF’s Military Program culinary training, the Armed Forces Forum for Culinary Excellence, and Marine Enlisted Aide, on having impactful leaders:

“Being in the position that I am, it wasn’t just myself that helped me get here. It really had a lot to do with my leadership. The opportunities I’ve been presented with, it’s all because they’ve seen my dream, they’ve seen my ambition and my drive, and helped make it happen for me.”

NRAEF Scholarship Recipient Hannah Moyles on going from being mentored, to becoming a mentor:

“In the long-term, I hope to manage my own hospitality or foodservice operation with a consistent reputation for excellence. I would also like to teach students like myself, especially young women, who are interested in a career in the hospitality industry. In this way, I hope to give back to the community even a fraction of what has been given to me throughout my education and prepare the next generation for work in the industry.”

Restaurant Manager Apprentice Odette Marin on the mentors who helped her complete the Apprenticeship Program and become a General Manager of a Shakey’s Pizza:

“My mentor for the apprenticeship program was great. Everyone in the company is supportive. From corporate to HR, I can call people to ask questions, especially when you’re in situations where you don’t know what to do and they let me know I can come and vent to them. If I ever need advice they help. Now that I am a General Manager my regional manager has become a great mentor. His motivating speeches and positive outlook always make a positive impact on me and my team every time he visits my location.”

Chef Rick Bayless, Founder of Impact Culinary, a Restaurant Ready partner organization, on the importance of connecting program participants with industry mentors:

“Were not just starting them at the bottom and saying, master these skills and keep your fingers crossed and hope you get a job. We’re actually giving them the opportunity to get to know some of the best chefs in Chicago, and learn from those people.”

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PODCAST – ProStart: Educating Tomorrow’s Industry Leaders

Chef Patrick Phelan, 2023 ProStart® Teacher of the Year, shares insights on mentoring the next generation of restaurant workers and the value of the ProStart Program’s hands-on curriculum! Phelan was just recognized on-stage during the 2023 National ProStart Invitational in Washington, DC.