ChefsGo 1.0 Graduates Six Through Community Collaboration

September 1, 2017
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Thomas Nelson’s ChefsGo 1.0 program is the latest model of the Peninsula community working together to fulfill a need expressed by employers in the region. The program's success was echoed among the students, chefs and coordinators at the celebration of the inaugural graduating class of ChefsGo 1.0 on Thursday, Aug. 31, held at Williamsburg Landing. 
 
“It takes a full community to graduate six students,” stated Robin Carson, ChefsGo 1.0 program coordinator, who continued to thank the participating chefs who donated their time, their kitchens and pounds of food as well as James City County Schools who opened the doors of the Warhill High School kitchen and all the sponsors who offered financial support. 
 
Every student received some form of support, some a full scholarship, to participate in the program.   

“All together this has been a community experience and we want it to be a community celebration,” stated Carson.

Restaurateur Adam Steely of Blue Talon Bistro and Chef Hans Schadler of Waypoint Seafood and Grill reiterated sentiments from Thomas Nelson President John T. Dever.

 “Students, remember this is a big moment, but remember it's just the first step. These chefs can tell you that they were once where you are, take the next steps, so that in the next 20-30 years you can be where they are now,” stated Dever.

Six students completed the ChefsGo program including Andrew Aczel, Jakeia Dickerson, Emma Espinoza, Maribel Henandez, Tyler Morton, and Jeffrey Rouse.

Aczel, a current Thomas Nelson student who now works at Waypoint Seafood & Grill with hopes of attending the Culinary Institute of America in two to three years, has taken full advantage of Thomas Nelson’s offerings. He completed the ChefsGo program while enrolled at Warhill High School and also completing the Early College program at Thomas Nelson.

“While at Thomas Nelson I realized how much cheaper it was for me to stay. Thomas Nelson has been a great way for me to experience what college is without experiencing it alone,” stated Aczel. “I am building on a lot of responsibility and freedom. It has been really cool.”

The next ChefsGo program will take place in the spring. For more information, visit tncc.edu/workforce or contact Sherri Thrift at (757) 897-3462.