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For years and years I have taken the French Street exit off of 1-94 on my way to work at Conner Kitchen. Initially, I chose it over Conner because of the many beautiful trees that lined the street; a school, a church and many homes made the street a pleasant road on which to drive. Gradually, houses started deteriorating, the church discontinued and the school closed and was boarded up.
I am very fortunate to meet so many different people when I teach basic culinary and sanitation courses. Many of the returning citizens have told me about the horrific meals provided in the facility where they had stayed. Many experienced some of the meals that a certain foodservice company was serving that came out in the media a year or so ago. Unbelievable that even those incarcerated are served sub-human food. Every person is someone’s son, daughter, mother, father, a person that is loved by somebody.
During the week of June 26, thirteen teenagers participated in the annual Rosa Parks Leadership Camp. Defining Leadership as one who knows herself/himself; one who has values and vision that is well communicated; one who builds trust among colleagues and takes effective action; one who develops potential and is able to take a stand despite peer pressure.
Today “James” came in to let me know he was having a load of problems and wanted some help. He explained the difficulties he was facing with the court and the lack of funds, etc. Then he said, “We’re told to thank God for everything, so I thank God for my problems. You know where we’d be if we did NOT have problems, don’t you?”