Nov. 5, 2019 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Ten students in Grand Rapids Community College’s Secchia Institute for Culinary Education were awarded Restaurant Week scholarships last week from Experience Grand Rapids, helping them continue learning in-demand skills.
The organization donated $16,480 this year to the Grand Rapids Community College Foundation for the scholarships and has given a total of $175,908 over the past 10 years.
Experience Grand Rapids launched Restaurant Week in 2010 to highlight the region’s vibrant dining scene, which has become a draw for visitors.
“West Michigan has some of the best restaurants in the world, and many have graduates of the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education on their teams,” GRCC President Bill Pink said. “The scholarships provided through Restaurant Week help many students overcome financial obstacles, complete their education and find rewarding careers. It’s a great example of a partnership that makes West Michigan stronger.”
This year’s Restaurant Week took place from Aug. 7 to 18. More than 70 area eateries participated in the event, with a portion of each special meal sold going to support culinary school scholarships.
“One of the more exciting aspects of this promotion is $1 from every meal sold during Restaurant Week GR goes toward a scholarship fund for culinary students here in our community,” said Doug Small, Experience Grand Rapids president and CEO.
Students must be employed at a participating Restaurant Week GR location to be eligible for the scholarships.
“The donation helped me continue my career,” said Isabella Patterson, who received scholarships in 2018 and 2019. “It has allowed me to start my culinary education and have extra time for studying.”
This year’s scholarship recipients are:
- Adela Campos, who works are Judson’s Steakhouse in the B.O.B.
- Matthew Cook, who is employed at Brewery Vivant.
- Garrett Hamilton, who works at Bistro Bella Vita.
- Thomas Hoffman, who is employed at MeXo.
- Molly Hoseth, who works at Reserve Wine & Food.
- Carley Laubaugh, who is employed at Bistro Bella Vita.
- Luna Lyder, who works at SpeakEZ Lounge.
- Isabella Patterson, who is employed at Cork Wine & Grille
- Chloe Perham, who works at Palio
- Kezia Stinson, who is employed at San Chez Bistro.
Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for more than 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.