“Triad Community Kitchen was the new chapter of my story.”

“Triad Community Kitchen was the new chapter of my story.”

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Amber Castillo spent the first half of her life in and out of prison for selling drugs. It seemed that whenever she was released, she would go right back to her old, bad habits.

While in prison at the end of 2012, Amber told herself: “this has got to stop.”

Four months later, Amber was working with Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, NC, to find the right educational program for her. That is how she discovered Second Harvest Food Bank’s Triad Community Kitchen program. When we asked her why she decided to enroll, she said, “I thought it would be a really fun experience, and it would give me a foothold in the culinary industry.”

Amber says she enjoyed working with the program’s lead Chef Bacon and instructor Chef Dennie. She recalls Chef Bacon telling her that it doesn’t matter what job you get upon graduation: it matters more that if you make sure to be the best at that position and you will move forward.

Amber listened.

After graduating from Triad Community Kitchen, Amber began working at K & W Cafeterias. She quickly realized that being in front of the house and interacting with the guests was something that she had a great talent for. She began as a waitress and quickly moved her way up to Assistant Manager, which remains her current position.

“I am constantly remembering things Chef Bacon taught us in everyday work and I use a lot of that with my employees to encourage them to keep going.”

Now a leader in her workplace, Amber says “TCK was the new chapter of my story. This place totally saved my life.”

“If you open your minds, listen and really try, you can do a lot with this program,” she added.

After all, Amber is living proof.

Learn more about Second Harvest’s Triad Community Kitchen program here.

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$1 provides 7 meals.

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#hunger #NWNC #ChefBacon #ForsythCounty #culinaryschool #northcarolina #foodinsecurity #SecondHarvestFoodBank #NC #ForysthTechnicalCommunityCollege #TriadCommunityKitchen

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