Our Team

  • Jeanna Wu

    Jeanna Wu
    July 9 – August 14, 2021

    Jeanna

    Generously Sponsored By:Ben Pettigrew and Miranda Lux Foundation
    Age, at time of Internship: 16
    CIT Intern: Summer 2021
    Restaurant Host: Nopa
    Wraparound Program: San Francisco Unified School District SFUSD
    Intern’s Story: Jeanna grew up in San Francisco where she was raised by her grandmother who bonded with Jeanna and her little sister over home-cooked meals. After her grandmother’s passing, she turned to baking and cooking. With Sprouts’ Chef-in-Training program, Jeanna is eager to gain professional experience in an art that has always inspired her. She hopes one day to have the skills and know-how needed to be able to support herself and her sister in the culinary industry. 

    TESTIMONIAL

    “Testimonial Quote”

  • Chantel Brewster

    Chantel Brewster
    June 14 – July 22, 2021

    ChopBarCIT_Chantel_KTS_Jun2021_056

    Generously Sponsored By: Stephen Perkins and Miranda Lux Foundation
    Age, at time of Internship: 15
    CIT Intern: Summer 2021
    Restaurant Host: Chop Bar
    Wraparound Program: Oakland Unified School District OUSD
    Intern’s Story: Chantel grew up in Oakland under the custody of a mother who battled addiction. After losing their home, Chantel experienced homelessness. When her father was able to gain custody, the stability of a home and a working father allowed Chantel to have the opportunity to bake and even cook dinner. Realizing that this was her passion, she enrolled in Sprouts’ Chef-In-Training Program. She is eager to discover what it takes to become a professional chef and she feels that she has the life experience and stamina to make her dreams come true.

    TESTIMONIAL

    Hello! I just wanted to start this out by thanking you for making this opportunity possible. I greatly appreciate the experience this internship has provided for me. You see, the main reason I chose this internship was not only my passion for cooking but because of my mother. My mother passed away in January and while she struggled with addiction, which had made her give up on practically everything, the one thing she never stopped caring about was opening her own restaurant someday. I hope to make that happen for her someday and I think that this internship is the first step to make that happen. We were never close, but working in the Chop Bar and building bonds with everyone in that kitchen over the last month has made me feel closer to my mom than I ever have. So again, thank you so much.

  • Fayth Bishop

    Fayth Bishop
    June 9 – July 22, 2021

    NyumbaiSproutsCIT_Fayth_KTS_Jun2021_069

    Generously Sponsored By: Ben Pettigrew and Miranda Lux Foundation
    Age, at time of Internship: 16
    CIT Intern: Summer 2021
    Restaurant Host: Nyum Bai
    Wraparound Program: Oakland Unified School District OUSD
    Intern’s Story: Fayth grew up in Oakland in circumstances that obliged her to take care of her family at the young age of 16. As she made dinner for the family, she realized that the creative process brought her incredible satisfaction. When her school counselor told her about Sprouts’ Chef-In-Training Program she jumped on the opportunity. She is thrilled to work under the mentorship of a successful female chef at Nyum Bai and aspires to follow in her mentor chef’s footsteps and start her own local restaurant one day

    TESTIMONIAL

    To the Sprouts Community, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity and this experience. This whole internship has been a joy for me and it has given me the confidence that I need to follow my dreams to start my own restaurant. I would also like to thank you for taking the time to have an interview with me and being a very nice and calming organization.

  • Jesus Anali Vega

    Jesus Anali Vega
    May 21 – July 22, 2021

    Generously Sponsored By: Miranda Lux
    Age, at time of Internship: 24
    CIT Intern: Summer 2021
    Restaurant Host: Sobre Mesa
    Wraparound Program: Civicorps
    Intern’s Story: Jesus was born and raised in Oakland as a single child. With her father battling cancer, Jesus struggled to focus at school and by 10th grade dropped out. Not sure what to do next, Jesus decided to pursue her interest in cooking by working at fast-food restaurants. Realizing the limitation of fast food, she chose to enroll in Sprouts’ Chef-In-Training Program so that she could build the skills and confidence needed to achieve her dream of becoming an esteemed chef in her community. Upon graduation, Jesus plans to keep a side job at a restaurant while in school. After receiving her diploma, she plans to attend culinary school and one day become a respected chef at an Oakland-based restaurant.

    TESTIMONIAL

    Hello, my name is Jesus, I’m an intern at Sobre Mesa in Oakland. I would like to thank you for making one of my dreams come true. I’m really excited that I’m learning what I’ve always wanted to learn such as how to hold the knife correctly to get the perfect cut. I learned how to mince things very finely and learned new recipes and ingredients from Chef Nelson and other team members. I’m hoping to become a chef one day and open my own restaurant. One thing this internship has shown me is that everything is about passion and people love it. Chef makes his own specialty plates and all his customers love it. I want to show the world my specialties like he does. Once again thank you for everything and all the support. 

  • Michelle Shen

    Sprouts Board of Advisors

    1613010343815

    Michelle Shen

    Growth Marketer

    The Inside Scoop

    What is your profession? What do you love most about your job?

    I am a growth marketer by trade working with both large and small digital brands alike to tackle some of their biggest growth challenges. I love that growth is not linear – what works for one brand may not work with the other, so it requires collaboration and creative problem solving to produce the most impactful results

    Why are you interested in cooking and food education?

    I love the artistry of cooking, and I love that food creates community, experiences, and cultures. I don’t think food education is emphasized nearly enough in our school systems, it certainly wasn’t the case for me growing up, so I love that Sprouts offers a fun way for young people to learn cooking fundamentals.

    What first made you interested in food?

    I’ve always loved to eat, and as a Los Angeles native with parents who also love to eat, I’ve had the great pleasure of experiencing LA’s robust food scene for as long as I can remember.

    What is the connection between your work and the advising you do for Sprouts?

    I’m currently helping Sprouts with their digital marketing strategy, particularly as it relates to their new Virtual Cooking Class series.

    Why do you think the work that Sprouts is doing is important?

    Arming kids with the knowledge to cook healthy meals in a fun and delicious way is a fantastic intro to food education, which I believe can have an enduring influence on an individual’s consumption habits.

    What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned from working with Sprouts?

    It warms my heart to see how many like-minded and motivated individuals there are who are willing to donate their time and energy towards a cause that we all support.

    Why is it important for kids to learn how to cook?

    It’s empowering to know how to feed yourself and your loved ones; teaching kids the skills needed to prepare healthy meals can set them on a path of living healthier and sustainable lifestyles.

    What was one of the most rewarding experiences you’ve had as a Sprouts fan?

    Being able to tie my professional skills to a meaningful cause that speaks to me is a rewarding experience in itself 🙂

  • Cassandra Hernandez

    Cassandra Hernandez
    Chef-In-Training Alumni

    SproutsCIT_Cassandra_TheDorian_KTS_099

    Generously Sponsored By: Keegan’s Caramels + Miranda Lux Foundation
    Age, at time of Internship: 15
    CIT Intern: Spring 2021
    Restaurant Host: The Dorian
    Wraparound Program: San Francisco Unified School District SFUSD
    Intern’s Story: Cassandra grew up in a single-parent household with her mother who immigrated from Mexico. Her mother works long hours to provide for Cassandra and her younger siblings. To help, Cassandra spent her childhood balancing housework with school work. Her time cooking for the family sparked her interest in cooking and planted the seed that she could provide for herself and her family by cooking professionally.  Through the Chef-In-Training Internship, Cassandra aims to develop her professional and culinary skills and secure a position as a cook in a SF-based restaurant.

    TESTIMONIAL

    To the Sprouts Community, a million times thank you for supporting my Internship! I want you to know that my Chef-in-Training internship at The Dorian made a huge impact on my life. I will never forget this experience because working at a restaurant was something I’ve always wanted to do since I was young and because the restaurant felt like a second home to me. It’s funny because when I attended Marina Middle School we all knew The Dorian as, ‘the fancy restaurant in front of the 30 bus stop’. Never would I have thought that just two years later, I’d be interning there! I had such a great time at The Dorian that I’m actually planning on returning and working there after the summer! The staff welcomed me with open arms and taught me everything I know now about running/working at a restaurant. I was especially close with Chef Lee and Silvia, two amazing people who always made sure I was doing okay and made themselves available if I ever needed help. I also learned and improved on so many important skills that I will use for the rest of my life! The new skills I learned were customer service, handling a knife, cutting and lifting techniques, washing dishes in an efficient and timely manner, taking and keeping track of orders, hosting and sitting people down, etc. The skills I improved on were teamwork, time management, and communication. All of these skills will come in handy for future job opportunities even outside of the food industry! Words cannot express the sadness I feel towards my internship ending but as Dr. Seuss once said, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened”. I am forever grateful for this opportunity. Thank you so, so much. 

  • Kate RogersExecutive Director

    Favorite Foods: I love fresh fruits and vegetables. Pickled, sautéed, boiled, chopped, raw, cooked – there is no form that I don’t enjoy. And anything with a Moroccan twist!

  • Ben Conniff
  • Ciara Sidell
  • Christopher Zabita