Riawna Pope
Chef-In-Training Alumni


Generously Sponsored By: Ellen and Bob Ansel
Age, at time of internship: 17
CIT Intern: 2017
Restaurant Host: PlaYT and Communite Table
Wraparound Program: Oakland High
Riawna’s Story: After a bitter divorce divided her family, Riawna and her siblings were placed in a foster homes. Without any contact or financial help from her father, she was forced to take on odd jobs in order to support her mother. As a result, her focus in school went to the wayside and her relationship with her mother deteriorated. Despite the ups and downs of foster homes and making ends meet, she always found comfort in the moments she spent cooking and baking with her grandmother.
Proudest Moment: De-boning and cooking an entire chicken on her own.
Future Goals: Riawna thinks big! After she finishes her internship, she wants to pursue a culinary arts degree and work in the culinary industry until she can own her own restaurant!



“Chef Spike, along with everyone else in PlayT, were very kind and accepting teaching me that a kitchen environment is like a family.”