Welcome to Empower L.A. Class Four.
This is no ordinary class of Empower L.A. students: Class Four is the inaugural class in L.A. Kitchen’s new building in northeast LA, and the first full class of 26 students to grace Empower L.A. kitchens and classrooms.
Class Four is comprised of an incredibly diverse set of students coming from a wide range of different life situations. Empower L.A. is focused on an intergenerational approach, serving a collection of students ranging from age 19 to 57, with an average age of 37 and 35% of the class being under the age of 25. Class Four features 10 men and 16 women who, despite facing high barriers to employment, have made the steadfast commitment to empower themselves and achieve greatness both in the kitchen and in their lives through the Empower L.A. Program.
Week One started and ended with a bang. We hit the ground running as Class Four students were shuffled in bright and early on the first day of class, adorned in their sharp new chef coats, and sent to the kitchen to start chopping fruit, which was generously donated by Food Forward. Peaches, nectarines, plums, and mangoes galore: with the help of dozens of volunteers, we began the preparation for what would amount to over 3,500 yogurt parfaits to be assembled and donated to the Special Olympic World Games.
A moving ribbon-cutting ceremony closed the opening week and solidified the impact of L.A. Kitchen in our Los Angeles community. Featuring L.A. Kitchen Founder Robert Egger, representatives from the Mayor’s Office, and the issuing of certificates awarded to L.A. Kitchen by the City Council and Board of Supervisors, the ribbon-cutting ceremony was covered by several local news stations and introduced the newly up and running L.A. Kitchen to the public for the first time.
After a full week of hard work and community involvement, Empower L.A. chef advocate trainees emerged with an insatiable excitement that manifested itself in their smiling faces. With the first week under their belts, they were beyond ready to jump into the kitchen and begin cooking up something great.