Laura Villalta
Chef-In-Training Alumni

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Generously Sponsored By: Oakland Unified School District
Age, at time of Internship: 18
CIT Intern: Summer 2019
Restaurant Host: Nyum Bai
Wraparound Program: Oakland Unified School District
Intern’s Story: Growing up with her single mother as her patient teacher, Laura became well-versed in Salvadorian cooking, and knew from an early age that cooking is one of her true passions in life. Despite no formal job experience or restaurant training, Laura was eager to make the most of any cooking opportunities that came her way, including cooking for her church’s bake sales, distributing meals to those on the street in need, and cooking dinner for her siblings while her mother worked. After a turbulent start to high school, Laura transferred to Rudsdale Continuation School for her senior year, and had the chance to take a beginner cooking class. Laura then applied to Sprouts’ Chef-In-Training program in order to gain the skills and experience she needed in order to put her on the path to future success and financial stability. Pushing past her initial nervousness and hesitations, Laura thrived in the kitchen at her host restaurant, Nyum Bai, impressing her high school mentor, Sprouts’ staff, and the Nyum Bai kitchen alike! Nyum Bai was so pleased with her performance that they offered her a part-time job at the end of her internship!
Future Goals: Laura will be starting culinary and business management classes at Laney College in the fall, and plans on following the path she has laid out for herself until she becomes head chef and owner of her very own restaurant. Laura hopes to open up a small spot one day that serves Salvadorian food “with a twist” to raise community awareness about her culture, and to help her family back in El Salvador.

Background

TESTIMONIAL

“My experience with Sprouts has been amazing! I would absolutely recommend it to every student or anyone who would want to learn, and gain skills in cooking.”