Mario was frustrated and having problems in high school due to his anger management issues and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

He was referred to John Muir Charter School, which is run by Operation New Hope and funded by the Workforce Development Board.

There, he expressed an interest in cooking and was provided with tools to help follow his dream of becoming a chef.

He received assistance to obtain his food handler’s card, took tours of local businesses offering food services, and explored culinary arts schools. In addition to these opportunities, Mario was also provided with mental health support and counseling.

His hard work and enthusiasm paid off. Mario was hired for part-time employment by Viva La Vegan, where he has developed a new and improved recipe for vegan horchata.

Mario commented, “I am now hopeful and confident about my future. The Workforce Development Board has helped me to realize my goals, and that I have the skills to become a great chef. Thank you.”