After listening to the needs of ProStart® educators, the LRAEF School Support Fund was created to bridge the gap between traditional state funding and educator needs for successful ProStart program implementation. The LRAEF is able to gain insight into the individual needs of Louisiana ProStart schools through this annual giving program, and award decisions are tailored to the particular needs of the schools that apply. These funds are often used to create more diverse, hands-on, learning opportunities within culinary labs by giving students greater access to new equipment and a more extensive selection of perishables. Students are also provided access to unique learning opportunities through field trips, as well as practicing for and attending the Louisiana ProStart Invitational. Staple items such as textbooks and testing materials are also funded through the LRAEF School Support Fund.
ProStart is a nationwide, two-year program for high school students that develops the best and brightest talent into tomorrow’s industry leaders. From culinary techniques to management skills, ProStart’s industry-driven curriculum provides real-world educational opportunities and builds practical skills and a foundation that will last a lifetime.
“The Emeril Lagasse Foundation’s generous gift will allow us to continue to provide the tools for unique educational experiences for our ProStart students,” said LRAEF Chair Donna Stephenson. “We are very fortunate to have such a committed partner in Chef Emeril and his foundation to promote the culinary and restaurant industries as a viable and successful career path.”
The next round of ProStart School Support Fund awards will be distributed to applicable schools in January 2017.
“We realize the important need for jobs in the culinary, hospitality and tourism industry in the state of Louisiana and we are proud to support Louisiana ProStart in its mission to educate youth with the skills needed to succeed in this rapidly growing industry,” said Brian Kish, Emeril Lagasse Foundation president. “It is programs like these that help bring to life Emeril and Alden’s vision to inspire youth to reach their fullest potential.”
The LRAEF, a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization, exists to enhance the restaurant community through expanded educational and career opportunities, the formation of strategic partnerships and the elevation of professional standards and practices. If you would like to make a donation, please contact Jennifer Jeansonne, firstname.lastname@example.org or (504) 636-6691.
2016 LRAEF Annual Partners: Five Diamond- Acme Oyster House, Auto-Chlor Services, Emeril Lagasse Foundation, Louisiana Hospitality Foundation, Louisiana Restaurant Association, National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers; Four Diamond- Performance Foodservice- Caro; Three Diamond- Atmos Energy, Ben E. Keith, Delaware North, Ecolab, Louisiana Culinary Institute and New Orleans Wine & Food Experience; Two Diamond- Besh Restaurant Group and Whole Foods Market and One Diamond- Capitol City Produce and Mele Printing. THE LRAEF would also like to thank the nine chapters of the LRA for their support throughout the year.