The NRAEF recently named winners of the 2018 ProStart Educator of Excellence Awards for outstanding achievement in high school culinary and restaurant management education. Georgia ProStart teacher Chef Simone Byron of Meadowcreek High School in Norcross, Ga., was one of only two teachers nationwide to receive top honors with the James H. Maynard Award, sponsored by Golden Correl. Chef Byron received a $5k cash prize earlier this summer and was recognized at the GRACE Awards for being the first national award recipient from Georgia.
Students Athena Russell of Southeast Bulloch High School in Brooklet, Ga., and Steven Campos of West Forsyth High School in Cumming, Ga., were both named 2018 Georgia ProStart Student of the Year finalists and they too received a $2k prize.
“Through our programs and dedicated teachers, we are creating a strong pipeline of trained students coming out of high school and going straight into the state restaurant industry or furthering their hospitality education, many in the state of Georgia,” said Nesha Mason, Hospitality Education Foundation of Georgia and Georgia ProStart executive director. “The work and opportunities we are providing to students is important and will continue to bolster the restaurant economy state-wide for years to come.”
The student awards would not be possible without sponsors like Coca-Cola and the GRA. High school juniors and seniors earn credits through the ProStart program which can then be applied to culinary schools. The scholarship money they receive helps to pay for their continuing culinary education at schools like Georgia State University, The Art Institute of Atlanta, and others. Or, some students choose to begin their hospitality careers immediately after high school and receive credit toward the competencies required to earn National Restaurant Management Certification through the Hospitality Registered Apprenticeship program.
The Georgia ProStart Program, administered by the Hospitality Education Foundation of Georgia, prepares high school students for real world scenarios in the restaurant industry and leads to post-high school culinary careers. The Georgia ProStart program provides educators with the resources needed to empower their students and bridge the gap between classroom and career.
The Hospitality Education Foundation is committed to connecting hospitality pathway students to career information and opportunities. Our goal is to support educators in providing students with the mentoring, career counseling, and exposure they need to map and pursue their own career path. HEFG accomplishes that goal by offering educators training and resources as well as student opportunities to interact with all facets of the hospitality industry. If you would like more information about this topic, please visit http://www.hefg.org.