As part of the Hamilton Area Community Coalition’s new series, “Adulting 101”, over
25 local teens took part in a three-week cooking series with Colgate’s head chef, Lateef Clark. Sponsored by Chartwells, Colgate’s dining service, the three sessions covered basic cooking skills such as cutting an onion as well as taught the teens to make omelets, French toast, hamburgers, cole slaw, mac & cheese, and a dessert!
“Chef Lateef is a highly accomplished chef, but more than that, he really made a connection with the kids and took time to invest in this group and give them an unforgettable experience.” says Melissa Cassulis, HACC program coordinator. “Watching the teens light up with pride in their creations was fulfilling. A few were even able to demonstrate their new skills by cooking for their parents before leaving. We were watching their self-confidence grow before our eyes.”
“Adulting 101” began in response to the overwhelming request from teens for practical life-skills training. They’ve asked for help with things such as how to balance a checkbook, cooking skills, basic sewing skills, first aid and wellness, self-defense, career readiness skills, personal development, stress management, communication skills, etc.
“They continue to share with us how they feel unprepared for life after high school, and how that has been an underlying point of stress and anxiety in their lives,” says Cassulis. “The purpose of ‘Adulting 101’ is to create an empowering environment where they can learn important life-skills and interact with community members. Kids who feel connected to their community, and are confident in their skills are less likely to engage in risky behaviors. By drawing on the expertise of our neighbors, this series takes advantage of the unique culture we have here in Hamilton, and builds upon our strong sense of community.”
If you have a skill you would be willing to share with the group, feel free to contact the HACC at firstname.lastname@example.org. For pictures and videos of the teens in action, follow us on Instagram @hamiltoncoalition and visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/hamiltonareacommunitycoalition.