Chef-in-Training Program

Sprouts Chef-in-Training program offers young adults that haven’t had it easy the opportunity to change their lives by training them to become chefs. For 6 months, they are paid to learn everything they need to know to land a sustainable job in the modern restaurant industry. They train directly alongside a local mentor chef and receive job application coaching from Wells Fargo.
Since 2012, we have had 32 apprentices enter into our program. 72% of graduated Chefs-in-Training interns have landed jobs in establishments such as Locanda, 25 Lusk, Whole Foods, and Farley Cafe. Our program is made possible by the donations of community members and local businesses.  Watch our video to learn more!
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It is thanks to donations from community members and local businesses that we are able to keep our Chef-in-Training program afloat! Thank you so much for your support. We can’t wait to make a difference with your donation.

SPONSOR AN ENTIRE DAY OF TRAINING

SPONSOR 1 MONTH OF TRAINING

SPONSOR HALF OF AN INTERNSHIP

SPONSOR AN ENTIRE INTERNSHIP

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CHEF-IN-TRAINING PROFILES


D'Angelo

D’Angelo Jackson
Generously Sponsored By: Clover
Age, at time of internship: 18
CIT Intern: 2018
Restaurant Host: Chop Bar
Wraparound Program Tennyson High School
“Since my family has a southern heritage, food is a big part of bringing people together like on Sundays and it helps heal whatever comes in the week before. Watching my mom and grandma cook, it made me want to one day cook for them and other people.”
D’Angelo’s Story: D’Angelo has no relationship with his father and his mother died when he was three. Since then, D’Angelo has worked hard to overcome his anger issues. His first year of high school was especially hard for him after he, his grandmother, his two brothers, and his cousin were evicted from their home in Oakland. They spent a year living in a motel. D’Angelo felt hopeless, he was angry, and he was doing terribly in school. D’Angelo felt like he was given a fresh start when his family found a place to live in Hayward. He was sad to move away from his friends, but he used the opportunity to make new friends and really improve his grades. D’Angelo is still living in Hayward, graduated from high school, and is ready to pursue a career he is passionate about.
Future Goals: D’Angelo refuses to settle for a career he doesn’t love. He wants to be a chef so he can use food to bring people together and heal.

Rosetta Reeves
Generously Sponsored By: Sam Ghods, Clover
Age, at time of internship: 22
CIT Intern: 2018
Restaurant Host: Millennium
Wraparound Program Bay Area Youth Center
“What I like about cooking is challenging my taste buds to create different flavors.”
Rosetta’s Story: In and out of foster care since the age of 3, Rosetta has not had an easy life. She was placed in foster care as a result of her mother being unable to care for her due to health complications that caused her to be hospitalized often. Rosetta was abused both in foster care and by her own family when her aunt legally adopted her for a short time period. Rosetta is now 22 years old and currently lives in community housing in Oakland. She is hoping to be able to move in with her mother and grandmother in September when she officially ages out of the foster care system so that she can help take care of them. Rosetta enjoys spending a lot of her time caring for her numerous nieces and nephews.
Future Goals: Rosetta would like to open her own family friendly restaurant one day that can help her support herself and her mom.

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Sa’Myah Halcomb
Generously Sponsored By: Oakland Unified School District
Age, at time of internship: 17
CIT Intern: 2018
Restaurant Host: Sprouts Cooking Club
Wraparound Program Ralph J. Bunche Academy
“Cooking is a great way to be creative. It’s a different way to express yourself and tell a story.”
Sa’Myah’s Story: Sa’Myah was born and raised in Oakland. She moved to Ralph J. Bunche Academy from Oakland Technical High school because she needed a smaller school to succeed and loved that Bunche has a culinary program. Sa’Myah has three siblings and currently lives part-time with her mom, who works at the DMV, and part-time with her dad, who works as a mechanic. In addition to school and her internship with Sprouts as a summer camp counselor, Sa’Myah works at Drip Line in West Oakland.
Future Goals: Sa’Myah wants to take a gap year after high school to work and travel before starting Laney College’s culinary program. Her ultimate goal is to own her own small, inviting restaurant.

Minh Nguyen
Generously Sponsored By: Oakland Unified School District
Age, at time of internship: 17
CIT Intern: 2018
Restaurant Host: The Temple Club
Wraparound Program Oakland High Study
“I want to give my food to the world to let everyone know how good traditional Vietnamese food is.”
Minh’s Story: Minh, his three siblings, and his parents moved to Oakland a year ago from Ho Chi Minh City after struggling for a long time after his parents lost their jobs. In Ho Chi Minh City, his parents would work from 4am-4pm, so he would take care of and cook for his siblings. His parents are still struggling to find steady work in Oakland, but Minh is happy to be improving his English and pursuing cooking. He has always liked helping his mom out in the kitchen. He loves the smells and flavors of his mom’s pho. Minh’s mother is a huge inspiration for him and the main reason why he decided he wants to be a chef. He has learned most of his cooking hands-on in the kitchen with her.
Future Goals: Minh wants to perfect his cooking skills and master traditional Vietnamese cooking so that he can share it with the world. He is also passionate about learning how to cook traditional foods from other cultures.

Minh
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Chante Bell
Generously Sponsored By: Oakland Unified School District
Age, at time of internship: 17
CIT Intern: 2018
Restaurant Host: Navi Kitchen
Wraparound Program Oakland High School
“Cooking is how you show your love for other people and bring them happiness when they can’t get that all the time.”
Chante’s Story: Since she was young, Chante’s family has struggled to have their basic needs met, including having access to enough food, water, electricity, and clothes. Chante has fond memories of going to her great-grandmother’s house where she would enjoy a big meal with the rest of her family. She remembers that it was her great-grandmother’s cooking that had the power to bring everyone together and make them happy even when times were tough. After her great-grandmother died, Chante was depressed, but it was her love for food and cooking that eventually brought her joy again. She began to work even harder to create home-cooked meals for everyone because she wanted to continue spreading the happiness her great-grandmother had brought to the family. Living with her mom, granny, and sister, Chante gains strength being surrounded by strong women who have had to overcome significant hurdles.
Future Goals: Chante is set on being a chef. She wants to go to culinary school and business school so that she is fully prepared to open her own diner, restaurant, or maybe even a food truck. She dreams of living and cooking in New Orleans.

Susan Ramos
Generously Sponsored By: Oakland Unified School District
Age, at time of internship: 17
CIT Intern: 2018
Restaurant Host: Comal
Wraparound Program Sojourner Truth Independent Study
“Creating new, healthy recipes is something I really enjoy doing.”
Susan’s Story: Susan battled multiple health problems, including high cholesterol, as a result of being overweight at a very young age. After battling years of health problems and weight issues, Susan decided to take her health into her own hands. She decided to focus on her eating, and threw herself into cooking as a way to heal herself. She soon realized that cooking was her passion, and she started to prepare meals for her 6 younger siblings. She wishes her family had more experience with cooking and access to healthy ingredients.
Future Goals: Susan believes being able to cook healthy meals is a skill everyone should have. She knows she wants to work in a profession where she can help others achieve a healthy lifestyle.

Susan
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Matthew Monroe
Generously Sponsored By: Beth and David Marks
Age, at time of internship: 19
CIT Intern: 2018
Restaurant Host: PLaYT
Wraparound Program Rudsdale Continuation School
“If I put myself out there in any little way, maybe it’s cooking for someone else, maybe I’m spreading a little bit of happiness into the world.”
Matthew’s Story: After his father lost his job and two family members passed away, Matthew was unable to cope and dropped out of high school. Worried about graduation, he eventually enrolled at Rudsdale Continuation School, where he graduated in 2018! He has always enjoyed cooking and sees it as a way to connect with not only loved ones but with oneself. He believes food is one of the best ways to show others how much you love them.
Future Goals: Matthew wants to continue working in restaurants to further improve his cooking skills. He is also interested in writing and animation and is currently working on a series of works of fiction.

Kevin Sandoval
Generously Sponsored By: Miranda Lux Foundation
Age, at time of internship: 17
CIT Intern: 2018
Restaurant Host: Waterbar
Wraparound Program: El Cerrito High School
“I’ve always had trouble expressing my emotions until recently. I’ve always been a quiet kid and no one has ever been proud of me for anything. By [being] in this program, I can build a better future. I can make something to be proud of.”
Kevin’s Story: Kevin’s parents both immigrated from Mexico and worked incredibly hard to take care of Kevin and his three siblings. However, their family still struggled financially and Kevin had to start working at a young age to help support the family, which often interfered with his education. Before joining the CIT Program, Kevin had experience working in a fast-food kitchen but was struggling to get an opportunity to work in fine dining, something he knew he wanted to pursue. He is fascinated by farm to table cooking and learning more about different cooking methods.
Future Goals: Kevin knows he wants to be a chef! He would like to continue working in the culinary industry through high school and eventually work as a chef in Paris or New York!

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TESTIMONIALS

“It is hard to overstate the meaningful impact Sprouts Chef-in-Training Program has made on our interns. I can say with confidence that Sprouts is one of the most effective programs I’ve ever worked within my 5+ years of youth engagement. Our school is so grateful for their expertise and professionalism, and look forward to impacting more youth.”

– Terrance Holliday

Ralph J. Bunche High School Work Based Learning Liaison, 2016

“When you teach a young person a marketable skill, you are investing in their future so they can become the skilled, self-reliant and thoughtful leaders we need to help our communities flourish. I can’t think of a better way to invest in everyone’s future, than by investing in the training of youth to become the thoughtful leaders and productive workers of tomorrow.”

​Lendri Purcell

The Jonas Family Fund, CIT Funder

“Give a young person a spatula, and support, and something exciting starts to sizzle.”

Meredith May

Feature WriterSan Francisco Chronicle, 2016

“I truly cannot think of anything more important than learning how to cook when you are young. The Chef-in-Training program is something very special.”

Alice Waters, 2016

“The Miranda Lux Foundation is thrilled to be supporting Sprouts’ Chef-in-Training Program.  The exemplary vocational training program does great work to ensure that a new generation of young adults have the essential skills to land a job in the restaurant industry.”

Miranda Lux Foundation, 2016

“By the end of my first shift, I had already made my first dish! It was such an honor!”

-Hector Ugalde
CIT Intern at alaMar Kitchen and Bar

“I remember after my first shift and the talk I had with Chef Thomas. He really made me open my eyes and think about this whole experience. I worked with more than one person every time I came, so I took away something new from everyone on the team. In my opinion, I feel I learned more about both food and life lessons. I honestly feel that my favorite part of this program was just being able to be surrounded by supportive people who actually cared. ”

-Leslia Lapota
CIT Intern at One Market Restaurant

“I was 8 years old and I was stealing cars with my friends, seeing a lot of things I shouldn’t have been seeing at my age. I’ve always been interested in food, so once I got into the internship with Sprouts, it made me [think] this is pretty cool! I get to be in a real restaurant and work with professionals. I really needed somebody to really believe in me and help me fund my Chef-in-Training Program, because this was really my only way out. I’m a young black male, and I’m trying to make it. I’m trying to find my living, I’m trying to make my way through life…I’m just trying. I’ve been through a lot…and I’m trying to make it right.”

-Mike “Mikey” Quintana
25Lusk

“The Sprouts Chef-in-Training Program gives back. I didn’t really have that growing up, so I wanted to make sure that once I had my own place I could do that for somebody”

-Chef Nelson German
Executive Chef/Owner of alaMar Kitchen and Bar

“My first day was enlightening. I got to watch one of the chefs prepare plates and was astonished at how at professional looking he made them.”

-Bobby Pennington
CIT at Pican

“As a volunteer for Sprouts Cooking Club I was able to experience the absolute joy of teaching our community’s next generation about healthy, sustainable, local foods. I am proud to have partnered with Sprouts to bring as many kids as possible into the kitchen. Watching them learn, grow, and enjoy good food has inspired me in my own kitchen, and I have come away from the class with my own learnings—not to mention some great new recipes!”

– Carolyn Insley
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We are always looking for new candidates!

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Office #1
Oakland CA 94608

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