Traci Lee Graduation Photo

Traci lost her primary job during the pandemic.
And her secondary job didn’t cover all the bills.
Traci was in trouble.

Her landlord threatened eviction.

At the same time, Traci’s kids tested her patience as they adjusted to remote school. To make matters even worse, Traci struggled with her search for a better job.

But one day, Traci came to SDC, where she applied for emergency rental assistance due to COVID circumstances. She got help with rent, but to her surprise, the visit created a chance encounter. Traci’s culinary journey took off.

While filling out paperwork, Traci noticed a graduation ceremony taking place in the building. It was a SDC ChefStart class. After a brief conversation with SDC staff, Traci enrolled in the class right away.

“This class gave me purpose,” Traci says. “It gave me a community. It gave me a chance to show creativity with my food. It took me back to scratch cooking.”

Suddenly, Traci pauses and starts to cry.

“In the areas a lot of us live in — we don’t get the help or proper tools to be successful,” Tracy says.

“I feel like going through this course, I can see what we gained from it. We will be successful now or in six months, Traci says. “But if we fall, I know that these people at SDC have my back. They’ll let me know that I can do it.”

See more ChefStart graduates and learn more about SDC’s ChefStart class.

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