Café Hope is a nonprofit culinary arts and life skills program serving opportunity youth ages 17 – 24 throughout New Orleans. As a faith-based organization rooted in its non-profit restaurant, Café Hope is committed to providing its students with the skills needed to succeed in New Orleans’ rapidly expanding culinary industry. The 16 week program is divided into three distinct portions: Seeds to Success, back of the house internship and front of the house internship.
Weeks 1-4 Seeds to Success
The first four weeks of the program are focused on teaching the soft skills that students need to thrive in the workplace. The skills that we spend time sharpening are: communications, conflict resolution, appreciation, anger management, team work and goal setting. We also spend significant time addressing the holistic needs of each student by offering lectures and videos on spirituality, financial literacy, healthy eating, horticulture and dressing for success. Students also take two field trips including one dedicated to the service of others.
Weeks 5 – 10 Back of the House Internship
The internship portion of the program begins in our professional kitchen where our students are able to work at every station in the kitchen under the guidance of one of our three chefs, who have a combined 35 year of experience in the restaurant industry. Emphasis is placed on teaching the skills that are necessary to work in a kitchen such as: knife skills, product identification, plating skills, cleanliness, equipment safety, equipment care and general kitchen etiquette. We know that gaining experience with “real life” pressure will serve our students well in their future endeavors.
Weeks 11 – 16 Front of the House Internship
Once in the dining room the focus becomes the soft skills of human interaction. For many of our students communication has been something that has held them back, the final portion of the program ensures that it will be no longer. The students also learn dining room etiquette as well as the skills necessary to operate a point of sale system. Resumes are finalized, interview skills refined and the transition into self sustainability begins in true.
In preparation for graduation, the Café Hope Team provides assistance with job placement and makes the workplace advocate matches. Our goal is to have every graduate employed within six weeks of graduation.
Workplace Advocate program
We understand that the transition from school into employment can be challenging, especially when it’s your first job. To help remove the stress and add another level of support, we developed our Workplace Advocate program. Workplace Advocates are community volunteers who agree to mentor and support one graduate for a one year period.