THE FOSTER CARE COMMUNITy
Our Dare to Dream Program matches youth in foster care with trustworthy, supportive mentors who meet practical and emotional needs, provide guidance through developmental milestones, and encourage the learning of important life skills. Our mentors work with their youth on things like applying to their first jobs, budgeting their money wisely, and create healthy habits. The goal is for our youth to feel supported and equipped to navigate life as they age out of the foster care system and transition into adulthood.
One of the things that many of our mentors work with their youth on is how to cook and work their way around a kitchen. So Daniela, one of Austin Angels' case managers, cooked up (see what we did there?) something special for our Dare to Dream pairs to do together!
"I have a background in nutrition, I LOVE to cook and I really believe that knowing how to cook some simple meals is super empowering to anybody. This is especially important to the population we serve because they might age out of care, move on their own and become responsible for cooking their own meals, often times without sufficient resources. Offering cooking classes would be an opportunity for youth to learn basic skills and spend quality time with their mentor."
Daniela reached out to schools and chefs in the local Austin community. Mr. Byron Chung from the Art Institute of Austin loved the idea of a cooking class for youth in foster care, and wanted to get involved. Chefs Corey and Bradley, and one of their students, Ms. Brittany Green, planned the class and reached out to their suppliers for donations.
Chef Corey and Brittany taught the group how to use a knife properly while cutting a whole rotisserie chicken, and then how to make various dishes using that meat, such as chicken salad, chicken soup, and chicken quesadillas. They learned how to julienne carrots, and were introduced to ingredients like fresh ginger, bone broth, and tofu. The chefs explained that adding certain ingredients to common favorites like ramen and mac and cheese, can actually make them healthier (and tastier!) The mentors and youth really enjoyed learning new skills, trying new food and had a great time together.
One of our mentors who attended the class said,
"I was able to take my two mentees (who are sisters) to the Austin Angels cooking class at The Art Institute of Austin. It was a wonderful opportunity to engage my two girls in an environment honestly all three of us had never been exposed to! I'm not the best cook, but I am really passionate about healthy eating and how that is so influential to mental, emotional, and physical health. Teaching the girls how to grocery shop and order healthy meals is one thing, but being in a kitchen learning from an expert (Chef Corey Smith) was incredible!
they were introduced to new foods in a safe and innovative way that allowed them to be creative & free.
The girls had a blast in their aprons and getting to learn over 5 healthy simple recipes and eat them afterwards. I really enjoyed my time with them in the kitchen and know it will be a positive memory for the girls to hold onto."
We want to thank all of our amazing partners who made this day possible for our youth:
Click the video below to watch a recap video of the day!