Amaya's Story: Youth Culinary Graduate

July 30, 2021

Amaya’s love for cooking and trying new things in the kitchen drew her to FareStart’s Youth Culinary Program in September 2019.

As a teen, Amaya faced a multitude of obstacles, including experiencing homelessness and health challenges. Amaya’s strength through challenging times pushed her not to stall, but to prevail.

In the Youth Culinary Program, Amaya learned culinary skills, interview preparation, resume building and computer skills. She also received high school credit while taking part in the program.

Like most households, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Amaya and her family. They have faced income changes, halted family visits and seeing friends, but Amaya’s strong support system has helped her continue to move forward.

“FareStart has definitely helped me in the kitchen, from knife skills to clean up to exploring new things cooking in the kitchen. But by far it has helped the most in job preparedness and knowing what to take from employers,” said Amaya.

Since graduating from FareStart’s Youth Culinary Program, Amaya graduated from high school with six years of scholarships. She is planning to attend South Seattle Community College to study psychology and welding. Her goal is to enroll at Washington State University to study clinical psychology and zoology to follow her dream of becoming a wildlife veterinarian.