The Rachael Ray Foundation Selects 27 High Schools to Receive ProStart Grow Grants

“PROSTART GROW GRANTS” totaling $135,000 awarded to help deserving high schools improve their existing PROSTART programs

WASHINGTON, DC – Wednesday, April 28, 2021 – Twenty-seven high schools from across the country will receive special funding to upgrade and expand their ProStart programs thanks to $135,000 in grants from The Rachael Ray Foundation (RRF).

Through The Rachael Ray Foundation ProStart Grow Grants, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) will provide 27 grants to ProStart schools that have demonstrated a strong need to engage and educate high school students interested in exploring restaurant and foodservice jobs and careers.


Rachael Ray

Funding from the RRF ProStart Grow Grants will enable schools to upgrade and build up their classrooms, assisting in preparation for return to in-person learning.

ProStart, a two-year career and technical education program focused on culinary arts and restaurant management, is offered in 1,700 schools across the country and currently enrolls 130,000 students. This school year, ProStart educators have largely adapted to the COVID19 restrictions with a mix of virtual and in-person learning, posing challenges for students to learn the hands-on skills the program often requires. Funding from the RRF ProStart Grow Grants will enable schools to upgrade or purchase new resources, build up their classrooms in preparation for return to in-person learning, and support teachers with whatever they need to help their students learn career-building skills.

Over the past 15 years, more than 260 scholarships have been provided by Rachael Ray’s Yum-o! organization and the Rachael Ray Foundation, totaling $1.8M in support to NRAEF scholarships and ProStart.

“ProStart educators and students have persevered through this difficult year and are continuing to pursue their passions for restaurants and foodservice against all odds” said Rachael Ray, award-winning television personality and philanthropist. “The Rachael Ray Foundation is proud to support their dreams to become future chefs and restaurateurs and provide them with the resources they need to be successful in their classrooms. We can’t wait to see what these students will accomplish.”

“The Rachael Ray Foundation is one of our most charitable partners, and with their support we are thrilled to offer these ProStart Grow Grants to 27 deserving schools,” said Rob Gifford, president of the NRAEF. “This grant funding will ensure that students interested in restaurant and hospitality careers are getting the resources and tools they need to succeed in their classrooms and advance their futures as schools reopen and the restaurant industry continues to rebuild.”

Winning schools awarded a ProStart Grow Grant were required to demonstrate how the program is positively impacting their students and the community. Grants are valued at $5,000 per school.

The winning schools include:

Blue Hills Regional Technical School Canton, MA
Chipley High School Chipley, FL
Chugiak High School Chugiak, AK
Essex County School of Technology Bloomfield, NJ
Greater Southern Tier BOCES Elmira, NY
Greene County CTC Waynesburg, PA
Harrisburg High School Harrisburg, SD
Heartland Career Center Wabash, IN
Howard High School of Technology Wilmington, DE
Kearny High School Kearny, NJ
Lakeview Jr./Sr. High School Campti, LA
Lancaster High School Lancaster, TX
Moody High School Moody, AL
Morris County Vocational School District Denville, NJ
Northwest High School Grand Island, NE
Pueblo East High School Pueblo, CO
Pulaski County High School Dublin, VA
Ridgefield Park Jr./Sr. High School Ridgefield Park, NJ
Simon Sanchez High School Yigo, Guam
Southwest Career & Technical Education Center   Gouverneur, NY
St. Georges Technical High School Middletown, DE
Summit High School Frisco, CO
Taos High School Taos, NM
Tiyan High School Barrigada, Guam
Warrensville Heights High School Warrensville Heights, OH
Warsaw Community Schools Warsaw, IN
Woodland Park High School Woodland Park, CO


The winners will be able to use their funds from the Rachael Ray Foundation starting this year. To stay connected to how winners use their Grow Grants, follow the NRAEF’s ProStart channels on TwitterInstagramFacebook and LinkedIn and use the hashtag #ProStartGrowGrant.

Learn more about the winners here.



About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s mission of service to the public is dedicated to enhancing the industry’s training and education, career development and community engagement efforts. The NRAEF and its programs work to Attract, Empower and Advance today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice workforce. NRAEF programs include: ProStart® – a high-school career and technical education program; Restaurant Ready – partnering with community based organizations to provide opportunity youth and previously incarcerated individuals with skills training and job opportunities; Military – helping military servicemen and women transition their skills to restaurant and foodservice careers; Scholarships – financial assistance for students pursuing restaurant, foodservice and hospitality degrees; and, the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship project – a partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Association providing a hospitality apprenticeship program for the industry. For more information on the NRAEF, visit

About The Rachael Ray Foundation
The Rachael Ray Foundation™ (RRF) is a private foundation that is fully funded by the proceeds from the sale of Rachael Ray™ Nutrish®. RRF was launched by Rachael in 2016 to better support the causes she cares for most such as helping animals in need. Additionally, RRF works with organizations that support the mission of Yum-o!, Rachael’s 501c3, in order to bolster and amplify their efforts through additional funding. Yum-o! empowers kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking. It also teaches families to cook, feeds hungry kids, and funds cooking education, among other initiatives.

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NRAEF Media Contact:
Mallory Domingue

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