What is your role at Sojourner?
My role at Sojourner is to provide nutritious and delicious meals to the residents of the shelter. I plan, implement, and prepare meals that comply with the guidelines of the Child and Adult Care Food Program set by the U.S Department of Agriculture. I coordinate food orders and ensure that the kitchen is clean, stocked, and organized.
What drew you to this type of work, both at Sojourner and in general?
My passion for cooking is what drew me into this type of work. Food makes people happy, and if done correctly, really good food can make a person’s day. I believe that a well-cooked meal provides nourishment as well as a sense of comfort and assurance, especially when going through a difficult time.
Before coming here to Sojourner, I was the Kitchen Supervisor at Shriners Hospitals for Children. It was the time I spent there that made me realize how much I enjoyed working for an institution dedicated to helping people. When I left Shriners, I knew I wanted to continue to work for an organization committed to uplifting families and their community. That is what brought me to Sojourner.
What other background do you bring to your work here?
I am a certified Food Manager and have over 10 years of experience in various forms of food service, from fast food to catered events. I am skilled at batch cooking, food preparation, and creating recipes. I pride myself on both food quality and excellent presentation. My family and friends often joke about my innate ability to create a fabulous meal from practically nothing. In fact, some of my fondest memories as a kid were creating fun meals for my younger siblings from whatever we had on hand.
What is your favorite part about working at Sojourner?
All of it! I love the cooking. My co-workers are awesome and sometimes the women talk to me. I mean really talk to me. They may vent about their situation. They talk about their family and kids, and if they are comfortable with me, they ask my opinion on certain things. I think of it as the “bartender role” of the job. I look forward to coming to work each day.
What do you enjoy doing with your time outside of work?
Outside of work, I really enjoy spending time with my fiancé and kids. I love baking and doing crafts with my two girls. I also enjoy gaming and watching superhero movies with my two boys. My fiancé and I enjoy exploring the city, trying different restaurants and cuisines.
What do you wish people knew about Sojourner that they may not?
Sojourner is more than a shelter and programs, the advocates here are really compassionate and dedicated to helping the residents move towards stability. The support does not stop once the women leave the shelter. The advocates routinely check on former residents and continue to aid with resources, advice, and often a listening ear.
Want to learn more about Sojourner's work and the people who do it? Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter by visiting www.sojournerproject.org/get-involved.