Saturday, April 07, 2007

Foster teens learn to cook in Life Skills 101

Foster Teens Learning to Cook it Up with Life Skills 101
Steele, Debra, Fresno, CA: ABC30.com, April 5, 2007.

A group of Fresno teenagers in the county foster care system got a lesson in culinary arts as part of a program called Life Skills 101.

These teenagers had the best of both worlds on Wednesday. They learned how to prepare a delicious and nutritious meal while having fun at the same.

Larry Hood, high school senior, says, "It's a mixture of both to me. It's really evened out, you got your difficulty parts, its already organized that's were the easy part comes in and then you just put it all together and you mix it really nice and smoothly."

Larry Hood is an 18 year old senior in high school and part of the Fresno County foster care system. He and the other teenagers at this workshop will be graduating high school and leaving the foster care system and heading out into the world on their own.

Today's life skills 101 lesson taught them the fundamentals of preparing a meal. Annette Brown, Fresno County foster care system, says, "It's a normal thing that you would be taught by your mom and dad in order to go ahead and know how to cook when you left home. But just because you are in foster care, you might not have that opportunity."

At the California Institute of Technology, they prepared chicken parmesan with pasta and broccoli. They learned the basics like the proper and safe way to use a knife while chopping up vegetables.

Elizabeth Corneliuson, Junior League of Fresno, says, "In addition to the cooking skills, it is also them being in an educational environment and many of them may chose to look into going to a culinary institute or some of the other programs that the institute provides."

The program is sponsored by the Junior League of Fresno, a group of women who focus on children and education. Larry says the program is a big help, "Me, myself, I'm going to be cooking. I want to run my own business in the future, so this has really helped me."

Life Skills 101 also provides a host of other workshops that include financial planning, money management, resume writing and getting prepared to join the workforce.