*To preserve the safety and privacy of the trainees, the names and identifying details have been changed.
Zaharredin came to the United Sates from Syria where he had already worked in foodservice for fifteen of his young thirty years - even owning his own restaurant at one time. Zaharredin suffers from extreme PTSD and had a difficult time deciding to attend our program for fear of leaving his wife and children home alone.
Despite his fear, he decided to not let the PTSD remain a barrier to the happiness and prosperity of his family and took the leap to come train with us. He quickly proved himself a whiz in the kitchen! He chopped circles around his teachers during knife skills lessons, taught his class how to toss pizza dough and even led an impromptu dabke (traditional Syrian folk dance) in the CCG kitchen!
At graduation, Zaharredin expressed his immense gratitude for the opportunity to learn about American cuisine and his hopes for a long career in foodservice in America. He also noted how happy he was to make a great group of friends. Through his vast foodservice experience and the completion of our program, Zaharredin was able to secure a job with a locally owned eatery and market making over $10 per hour! We are so grateful Zaharredin joined us at CCG where he was not only able to hone his existing skills but also develop a network of friendship, safety and trust in his new country.
From the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – Sikabwe, a former primary school teacher of 20 years, came to Create Common Good as a quiet and shy new American.
It was difficult learning new skills with a large language barrier, but the teacher and student in Sikabwe worked hard and dedicated himself to the material.
His patience and perseverance paid off when even before completing the 8-week program Sikabwe earned a job in food service with a local hospital. Full of gratitude and grace, Sikabwe brought all in attendance to tears with his heartfelt speech on graduation day.
Sikabwe has now been steadily working at the hospital and has managed to secure reliable transportation and most importantly, move his family out of the hotel where they had been living since arriving in Boise and into their first apartment in America.
ANGIE* came to Create Common Good from the Women’s and Children’s Alliance. Over the past several years she struggled with addiction, homelessness and adjudication, which in turn made finding and maintaining adequate and meaningful employment difficult. Coming to Create Common Good marked a major turning point in Angie’s life. Finally in safe and stable housing and marking several months of sobriety she was able to focus on a new path in life for herself and her young son. Angie felt CCG would be a great opportunity to marry her past experience in restaurant and customer service jobs with the updated skills and certifications offered through our program. Although she struggled with confidence and self-worth in the first few weeks of the program; successful classroom lessons, aced tests and expertly executed recipes allowed Angie to quickly begin realizing her potential and her confidence skyrocketed – soon emerging as a leader amongst her peers! Upon graduation Angie secured a full-time job at a local bakery making well over minimum wage and just as important, secured benefits like paid vacation and a 401K – something she never thought was attainable!