Leadership Greenville Class 47 is donating about $9,200 to the Truist Culinary and Hospitality Innovation Center initiatives including a sustainable garden and culinary curriculum that will enable students with disabilities to learn marketable job skills in the hospitality and agriculture sectors. The Truist Culinary and Hospitality Innovation Center is partnering with the West Greenville School on the project.
Through the donation, West Greenville School students with an interest in agriculture and culinary skills, representing a third of all enrolled, will begin the nine-month program in September and learn everything from grilling to sauce-making to knife usage skills. After the completion of the program under the tutelage of professional chef instructors, students can qualify to become pantry cooks, banquet prep cooks and line cooks, among other professions, according to a news release.
The West Greenville School provides therapeutic resources for students with significant emotional and behavioral disabilities in Greenville County Schools, according to the news release. The school partners with Greenville Mental Health Center and the Department of Juvenile Justice.
“We greatly appreciate Leadership Greenville Class 47 for seeing the value in this important partnership,” Alan Scheidhauer, director of operations at the Truist Culinary and Hospitality Innovation Center, said in the release. “There are opportunities for everyone in the culinary and hospitality field, and this program will provide a pathway to success for many students who will learn the skills needed to enter strong careers.”
The Leadership Greenville class also solicited donations including soil, plants, seeds, chickens and supplies, irrigation materials, gardening tools and more to allow the creation of a sustainable garden and chicken coop. The new garden will provide hands-on, sustainable agriculture and food preparation education to West Greenville School students, according to the release.
Businesses providing gifts-in-kind for the project included C.A. Carter, Tractor Supply, Lowe’s, Langston Construction, Greenville Triumph, Parks Hospitality Group, Mellow Mushroom of Asheville, Alchemy Comedy, Drift Spa, Softwash Pros USA, and Jack and Diane’s Dueling Piano Bar.
As the project progressed, students at West Greenville School joined the group in raising money.
“The students were thrilled to participate and take ownership of some of our fundraising,” Leadership Greenville Class 47 Member Michelle Dodge said in the release. “They successfully promoted and hosted two car washes and bake sales. Their efforts raised over $4,000 toward our goal.”